We all know the promise from the board, that West Ham United will be a next level club signing next level players. Two years on, that promise seems to be far from the truth especially with another disappointing transfer window passing. But lets look at the squad as it stands now – take out injuries, and depth, and this team could have some foundation pieces to being a Premier League Next Level Squad.
So what is the easiest way to show the players (in my humble opinion) that are next level now? A basic player list of course! Ranking from: No, Yes, Potential.
Joe Hart: No
Zabaleta: No (not any more)
*club captain, team wins with him in the lineup, general on the pitch
So the tally is 5 next level players including Mark Noble, and three potential players that could turn into next level players, Declan Rice, Arthur Masuaku, and Michail Antonio.
West Ham is short in defensive next level players and non-attacking midfielders. Which brings forward a truth about the club – they need to invest in a defensive stud at centreback. The rumors of Alfie Mawson from Swansea City would have added another potential Next Level player to the team list, but he is not a solidified elite player.
West Ham should be looking to make a splash this off season to announce their club as a European fixture and Champions League combatant. This can be done on the cheap, as the club seems to prefer, with players available on expiring contracts.
For midfield Jack Wilshere should be a target. Yet to sign with Arsenal, Wilshere is a lifelong supporter of West Ham and at 26 years of age, has time to develop his game into that elite play maker. He has been studying under Mesut Ozil at Arsenal, a player whose vision allows him to take the ball from a defensive position and in a matter of seconds transfer it into an offensive attack. Wilshere in would be a signalling of the guard changing for West Ham.
Joao Moutinho of AS Monaco in Ligue 1 would be another Midfield target. Advanced in age, Moutinho is 31, but with that brings a wealth of winning experience. He has Champions League experience, and is a winner having taken trophies for Europa League, European Championship, Portuguese League (x3), Portuguese Super Cup, and the French League cup. The man is a winner, and would be a good, veteran player that would fit in alongside Joao Mario if he was signed on a permanent.
SS Lazio in Serie A in Italy has Stefan de Vrij, Dutch international and extremely high rated centreback on an expiring deal. Looking to get paid, West Ham could lure him away from his current team who sits fifth in the league with a bog money deal. It would be a risk, but it could pay dividends.
There are plenty of options for West Ham to get those next level players we were all promised, only time will tell if it happens.
Agree or disagree with my player rankings? let me know!
Come On You Irons!