The Runner Sports

West Ham Pre-Season Takeaways

With the Betway Cup now gone, and West Ham United losing on aggragate 3-2 to Werder Bremen of the German Bundesliga, a lot has developed in team news.

Transfer News

A few rumors have popped up about staple players leaving West Ham over the last week including Everton eyeing both center backs, James Collins and Winston Reid; and Liverpool eyeing Manuel Lanzini.

Everton has apparently targeted Collins and Reid as backup defenders for their starting squad which essentially dismisses any likelihood that these transfers would happen. Collins was rumored to be valued at £2 million, which West Ham would surely pass on as he is more than a squad player, but also a mentor to the multiple young center backs on the team. Reid is a Premier League starter and realistically would be Everton’s best center back should he join their squad. He was valued at £9 million, which West Ham have already said they would not accept for him, or any price for that matter. Reid is the backbone of the Hammers’ defense and would not leave to be a backup player.

The Lanzini rumors were essentially created from a hypothetical snowball effect of transfer rumors. Barcelona’s Neymar has been linked to a world record move to Paris St. Germain of Ligue 1. This would in-turn force Barcelona to find his replacement with Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho. The Brazilian playmaker has exceeded expectations and is the attacking spark plug for the Liverpool offense. His departure would then see  Liverpool look towards Lanzini as Coutinho’s replacement as a tricky attacking midfielder. West Ham has identified Lanizi as the focal point of their attack and has bolstered the left side and striker positions this transfer window to support him. It is highly unlikely Lanzini would leave as all reports show he is happy and on the verge of signing a new contract with the club. As well, the board would fend off any advances from Liverpool as West Ham is currently hunting their position in the table.

Outgoings

The two recent departures from West Ham have both found themselves at newly relegated Middlesbrough. Keeper Darren Randolph was transferred first for a £5 million fee, with young striker Ashley Fletcher to follow for £7 million. The moves are mutually beneficial as both players will get the time to develop and succeed at a more appropriate level of play as Middlesbrough looks to return to the Premier League from the Championship.

The club also appears to be nearing a deal for Sofaine Feghouli, Algerian international and attacking winger. The move would be beneficial for West Ham as his wages are high and would free up that money and roster spot for a possible long-term replacement. Galatasaray appears to be the landing spot for a reported £5 million deal.

Training

Angelo Ogbonna, center back, appears to have recovered from feeling a twinge in his knee which underwent surgery early this year. Ogbonna left practice hobbling but has since returned to training and is participating in drills. West Ham had signed Ogbonna to a new deal that would see him at the club until 2022, so there is no need to rush him back from injury.

Striker Diafra Sakho has (remarkably) returned to first team training. On his day and when fit, Sakho is a threat to score with his natural ability and West Ham have been in a tricky spot as they want his ability but have grown tired of his ability to stay healthy. New head of medical, Gary Lewin, has created a fitness plan to maximize his time on field. If West Ham received an offer from a club for the Senegalese striker’s services, the club would certainly look to move on from him.

Manuel Lanzini, who aggravated a knee injury in training has been keeping busy in the gym and has returned to training. He will not play in West Ham’s last pre-season game in Germany against Altona 93, as the club would rather rest him than risk further injury.

Andy Carroll, another striker with a long history of injury, has been declared unfit to train and travel with the team. He remains in London rehabbing and resting his back injury. Despite recent talks to move on from him, he is unlikely to be moved simply because of his injury history. West Ham also will be without his services for the first three games of the season. Carroll’s value may be highest at West Ham considering their off season moves; Chicharito will be the main striker so Carroll will not be expected to play every game, and Arnautovic on the wing adds more legitimacy to the aerial threat with him.

West Ham has only two remaining pre-season games, one in Germany, and then a game against Manchester City in Iceland just before the season begins. The squad formation should start to take shape in the coming days as the starting eleven will need to be solidified.

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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