The new Premier League season is still a month away, but there’s reason to believe that West Ham United fans should already start to feel optimistic.
In the last nine years the Hammers have been relegated, promoted via the play-offs, enjoyed one of their best ever Premier League campaigns, entered the Europa League twice and left their beloved Upton Park for a brand new stadium.
And after a couple of difficult seasons getting acquainted in their new digs, the Hammers might finally appear to be building a squad befitting a 60,000 top-notch stadia.
Firstly, they’ve brought in Manuel Pellegrini. The Chilean is hugely respected on both British and continental shores and is a Premier League title winner with Manchester City.
The Hammers have also moved swiftly to bring in Jack Wilshere. The Englishman wasn’t guaranteed first-team football at Arsenal, but his move to the Irons could be the dream ticket for player and club – especially on a free transfer.
Wilshere follows other savvy arrivals in Lukasz Fabianski, Issa Diop and Ryan Fredericks.
Fabianski should nail down the number one spot in East London following his £7m move from Swansea City.
West Ham lost too much ground last term switching between the equally underwhelming Joe Hart and Adrian. Fabianksi has plenty of Premier League experience, and was one of the few standout players for Swansea last term.
Adding further defensive reinforcements is Diop, who has arrived for around £23m from Toulouse. The 21-year-old made a huge impression in Ligue 1, and his acquisition has been tipped as quite a coup by the Hammers.
And the addition of Fredericks is more excellent business. The 25-year-old right back shone for Fulham last season, posting nine assists as the Cottagers grabbed promotion back into the Premier League.
He’s been snapped up on a free and will bring welcome energy to the right-hand side after a difficult term for the experienced but aged Pablo Zabaleta.
And there could be more quality to come in midfield and up front. Felipe Anderson is reportedly an imminent arrival, while Andriy Yarmolenko, Bruno Fernandes and Franco Vazquez have been linked in the last few days.
Talent is already there
Pellegrini already has a solid core squad to build on with Aaron Cresswell, Cheikhou Kouyate, Mark Noble, Manuel Lanzini, Michael Antonio, Javier Hernandez and Andy Carroll on the Hammers’ books.
And the Irons’ famed youth system might have come up trumps again with teenage Republic of Ireland ace Declan Rice breaking into the first-team last season.
Throw it all together and things are certainly looking up for West Ham right now.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing