What are we to make of West Ham’s 22/23 season? A proper flirtation with the drop and many really disappointing performances but they lifted a European Trophy. Another adventure on the continent awaits but their best player has departed. Could be an interesting one at the London Stadium…
Last season: 14th
Top Scorer: Said Benrahma (6)
Transfers In: N/A
Transfers Out: Declan Rice – Arsenal – £105m, Arthur Masuaku – Besiktas – £2m, Manuel Lanzini – Released.
First game: Bournemouth (A)
Last spring when Newcastle routed West Ham, a beleaguered David Moyes looked like his time was up on the sideline. Yet the directors stuck with him and the veteran manager held his nerve to keep the Hammers in the top flight plus they were able to conclude a magical European journey by winning the Europa Conference League.
That victory has kept him in the job as he looks to make this season a little bit less stressful on the domestic front. The departure of Declan Rice has clearly created a massive hole in the middle of the park. He has been a driving force for the club for several campaigns but a £100million big was finally accepted and he is now the most expensive English footballer of all-time. It does mean that Moyes has money to spend in the transfer market but who can he get that can help bolster his squad?
As of the time of writing, no-one has yet walked in the door. A deal for Man City youngster Carlos Borges has reportedly collapsed due to his wage demands with Ajax now expected to nab the 19 year-old. A lowball offer for Harry Maguire has already been rejected and talks have stalled recently with Southampton about adding James Ward-Prowse.
With money to spend, clubs know that West Ham can maybe afford to pay that extra bit, so they are trying to squeeze every last drop out of the London club.
Gianluca Scamacca is poised to move back to Italy following an extremely disappointing spell with the Hammers and Michail Antonio is being linked with both a move to Saudi Arabia and Everton. Goals might well be a problem once again for West Ham and if I were a fan, I’d have serious concerns about this upcoming season.
That 12/1 for Moyes’ side to be relegated I think offers value unless they are able to really add some quality to their threadbare squad. That however seems a big ask with less than ten days before their opening game at Bournemouth, that could already be a relegation six-pointer.