Three More And That's Your Lot! Originally Four Or Five Now Eleven!

Shortly after being introduced as the new manager of West Ham United, Manuel Pellegrini announced that he was looking to bring in "four or five" new players to 'freshen' the squad. The arrival of Ryan Fredericks from Fulham on a free transfer was quickly followed by the arrivals of Yarmolenko, Diop, Wilshere, Balbuena, Fabianski and club record signing Felipe Anderson. The seven new signings have since been joined by Xande Silva, and if that wasn't enough Mario Husillos, Hammers' head of recruitment, is actively engaged in attempting to lure free agent Bernard who is available having seen out the last year of his five year contract at Shakhtar Donetsk.

West Ham's initial interest in Bernard cooled due to his exhorbitant £200,000 per week wage demands, however the club are now back in after hearing he is willing to lower them, Milan and Chelsea are understood to be vying for his signature but it was reported on Saturday that Chelsea were losing patience in their pursuit of the gifted winger who is believed to prefer 'joining the exciting project' at the London Stadium as opposed to warming the bench at Stamford Bridge.

Bernard would help fill the void left by Manuel Lanzini who is set to miss a large portion of the season through injury, additionally Husillos is said to be looking at re-signing Joao Mario on loan as a result of Lanzini's absence. The Portugal international playmaker is set to leave Inter Milan again having spent the second half of last season on loan at the London Stadium where he is known to be very happy and has stated that the LS would also be his preferred destination.

If all the above transfer activity is leaving West Ham fans thinking they are in a parallel universe, their psyche will be further transduced with the news that the club are on the verge of completing the signing of Harold Moukoudi from Le Havre for a fee of around £10.7m for the France U-20 international. Moukoudi is a powerful centre back with the physique of a brick outhouse who made his first team debut for Le Havre in 2016, the 20 year old now looks set to join up with compatriot Issa Diop which would give Hammers defence a distinctly Gallic feel.

Signing eleven new players will be seen as a risky strategy by many, Manuel Pellegrini has a good track record of integrating swathes of new players in to 'dowdy' squads but will be only too aware of the 'Everton' effect that played out last season at Goodison Park. While there are some similarities with regards to substantial expenditure, it should be remembered that Everton's recruitment was based on new money that had just come in to the club, it was profligate and unbalanced, so much so that eventually they had to bring big Sam Allardyce in to avoid relegation!

While it is unlikely that Hammers' will suffer a similar fate, it will be interesting to see just how 'El Pel' will manage to (a) utilise all the talent at his disposal and (b) keep what will essentially be two sets of first team players happy. Could be worse though couldn't it? - Ed

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La Vida Hammer's picture

Last 2 paragraphs, be interesting to see how things are 6 games in. COYI

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