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West Ham Board Lay Groundwork To New Season

It has been easy to target West Ham’s board over the past few season, however, a new approach to the offseason could prove successful for the Hammers.

Outside of a highly rumored, free transfer of veteran right-back Pablo Zabaleta, West Ham has since been quiet in acquiring new players to bolster their squad. Through the disappointing season that saw marquee playmaker Dimitri Payet leave the club, the team struggle through immense injuries, and end up in a late season relegation battle, the West Ham players did prove to bend not break as they galvanized in the face of adversity, securing an 11th place finish in the table. Surely the supporters and players who helped secure the season deserve improved players to help push the team forward. But that has not been the direction of the club thus far.

The West Ham board has decided to change two aspects of their approach to the offseason: they are not talking about targets that they are keen on, and they are rewarding their own club players with contracts before signing others.

This processes began in May, technically during the season, with Michail Antonio signing a new deal. This deal would raise his wages to £70,000/week and would keep him at the club until 2021. I will include him in the structure as his season was ended at this time with a hamstring injury. This was the first step in the process of solidifying the foundation of the club.

Recently, the club has added center-back Angelo Ogbonna to the list of re-signed players. With recent talks of him returning to an Italian squad with the impending World Cup in 2018, Ogbonna has put to rest the idea of leaving the Hammers’ back line. He has recently overcome a knee injury and has linked up with the squad at preseason training. His presence will be welcomed on the defensive line at top physical condition.

The most recent re-signing has been of Spanish midfielder Pedro Obiang. His wages per week were not released, however, it is believed he will be making £65,000/week with his new deal. The 25-year-old Spanish central midfielder has been recently scouted by top tier clubs, however, West Ham believes his new contract will quell their interest and keep him happy at the club. Obiang truly had his coming out party in the 2016/17 season as he became an everyday starter in the midfield. Only coming out for a season-ending injury, Obiang is a staple in the starting eleven at West Ham, and adds legitimacy to their central midfield alongside Mark Noble and Cheikhou Kouyate.

The last domino to fall may be the one longest to negotiate. Breakout star Manuel Lanzini is next to re-up at West Ham. The young Argentinian star looks to double his wages with a rumored £90,000/week salary. This would put him at the top of the club pay structure beside striker Andy Carroll, leading the team in wages, that is until this transfer window plays out. Lanzini stepped up after the departure of Payet and has taken over as the offensive outlet in the midfield. He is the key to their offense, and the board should show their investment in him with the new contract that is coming.

With their own men nearly taken care of, West Ham is sure to begin signing players to bolster their ranks. After a turbulent season, the men rewarded with new contracts were standouts amongst some abysmal play. In hopes of attracting new players, the board has shown they will invest in their own talent as well as bring in new pieces, a positive mindset as the transfer window draws on.

Adam Smith
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Adam Smith

West Ham United Writer at The Runner Sports
Proud supporter of the Claret and Blue, West Ham United!
Actively interested in transfer news, match reports, developing story lines, and all things West Ham United!
Adam Smith
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