As the vultures assemble ahead of the January transfer window, already rumours abound regarding the likely departure of West hams impressive midfield pairing with Chelsea seeking Declan Rice, while Bayern apparently are looking at Soucek.
When fans made the commitment to leave Upton Park for the London Stadium the clincher for many was the promise that we would no longer sell our best players to "bigger" clubs as we would be on a financial par with them.
In fairness, D&G have taken a debt-ridden Championship club with a tired squad to being a top half side with a fancy stadium* (terms and conditions still apply) and a strong squad. The club is currently ranked the 17th richest in world football and that standing can only improve when the club finally takes full ownership of the stadium - something that seems ultimately inevitable. Grady Diangana apart, West ham have held on to our most important players except where the relationship has become untenable as was the case with Payet and Arnautovic.
But this time the pressure is really on as both Rice and Soucek are extremely exciting and young players. Losing Rice in particular would have major symbolism as he is seen as 'one of ours' havibg been through the academy. This is a move that could seriously undermine an already fraught relationship between many fans and the current board.
But ultimately football is a business and if West ham are to keep these talents they MUST push on. With a decent start to the season that has the Hammers loitering around the top six while other big clubs are faltering looks to be the perfect opportunity to finally break through into European football.
Looking at the current squad the answer to West ham's situation seems clear - we need a top quality (i.e. 15-20 goals per season) striker. Imagine what the current team could achieve with a Cottee or a Defoe in their prime?
But that kind of player is increasingly rare in modern football - a true 'striker'. Said Benrahma looks like a great capture but he is not an out and out striker - the clue is in the description of forwards as "can also play out wide". A 'real' striker plays centrally and around the box. Chicarito was that kind of player but just not at the standard and past his prime.
Otherwise, West ham look reasonably healthy and Friday nights back four realignment demonstrated that we can adapt our formation as needed and according to player availability. In addition to Rice and Soucek, with Fab, Oggy, Coufal, Bowen, Benrahma and Antonio we look a decent side. Lanzini is also getting back to speed.
We just need a top striker and we can graduate to the higher tier - everything else is in place now.
If we miss this moment we will surely regret it as we have constant reminders as Rice turns out for Chelsea or Man Utd etc while Soucek captains Bayern and the Czech republic.
It's time to splask the cash.