Category Archives: West Ham United

West Ham record signing completes Ajax move

Sebastien Haller has completed his transfer to Dutch side Ajax for a cut-price deal of £20 million. 

West Ham broke their transfer record in signing the striker from Eintracht Frankfurt for £45 million 18 months ago, however, Haller has struggled to adapt to life in the Premier League having just scored 10 goals in 48 League appearances.  

In a statement made by the club, the West Ham official site said:

“West Ham United would like to thank Sebastien for his contribution to the club and wish him the best for his future career.”

TalkSport’s Alex Crook, meanwhile, added:

“I think it’s pretty clear now that Haller isn’t really a player David Moyes feels he can hang his hat on.  He has scored some spectacular goals but not with the regularity Moyes is looking for, and we know when Michail Antonio is fit he won’t be in the starting XI.

Indeed, the likes of Ajax impressive 19-year-old striker Lassina Traore have been mentioned. The Burkina Faso International has made 29 first-team appearances for the Dutch side to date and has scored 12 goals so far this season.  This includes seven in 11 Eredivisie starts. 

The Hammers, however, may have to compete with fellow Premier League rivals Wolves, who are also in need of a striker following the serious injury sustained by Raul Jimenez. 

Another realistic possible signing could be Bournemouth striker Joshua King, who has previously attracted the interest of the East London side.  In addition, the Norwegian’s contract will expire at the end of the season. 

Reports, meanwhile, are also linking West Ham to resigning Austrian forward Marko Arnautovic from Shanghai SIPG, however, the club have since distanced themselves from this prospect due to his high wage demand.  

So, with the Haller transfer now officially confirmed it is vital that Moyes does indeed bring in a striker to the London Stadium this month with first choice striker Antonio having on going hamstring issues. Who he does bring in as a replacement though remains to be seen.

Who do you reckon West Ham should sign to replace Haller in the January Transfer Window? Feel free to share in the comments below….

WHAT NEXT FOR OLIViER GIROUD?

Often underrated and always scores goals Olivier Giroud is facing a decision over his future. After all, It is imperative that the French World Cup winner plays regular football in order to secure his place in his national side for next year’s Euros.

The 34 year old has appeared just six times this season for Chelsea and this week France manager Didier Deschamps spoke out about the striker who has been an integral part of his plans in recent times despite being on the fringe at Stamford Bridge.

Giroud scored twice in midweek for France against Sweden to move him to within seven goals of the nations record goal scorer Thierry Henry – a mark of the forwards credentials.

However, with the plethora of striking options available to Chelsea boss Frank Lampard, Giroud has been on the periphery of matters in West London this term, leading to plenty of speculation around a move in the upcoming January transfer window.

Fellow Premier League club West Ham are believed to be interested, whilst a host of Serie A sides have also been credited with interest, including a reunion with former manager Antonio Conte at Inter Milan.

The cultured French striker who’s attributes stretch to beyond his prowess in front of goal with his ability to hold up the ball and bring others into play will be desperate for one final hoorah on the internationals stage in the rearranged Euros next summer – therefore may need to move on to pastures new.

France boast a host of high-quality forwards who will all be hoping to oust the tall striker from Deschamps’ plans. The likes of Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezzmann, Anthony Martial, Moussa Dembele, Ousmane Dembele and Marcus Thuram are all in with a shout of leading the line.

With competition for places at the attacking end of the France squad as such, it is inconceivable Giroud could expect to be picked without regular football behind him.

One thing is for certain is Giroud’s representatives believe their player deserves to be seeing more action, this week the players agent questioned Lampard’s preference of Tammy Abraham whilst hinting at a January exit.

At 34 years old and with Timo Werner and Abraham clearly above him in the pecking order, a mid-season move seems the most viable option in order for the cultured frontman to get the football he needs for the rest of the season.

Jack Wilshere: What Next?

Once regarded as one of England hottest prospects Jack Wilshere’s fall from grace has been a dramatic one. In one of the most interesting developments of Transfer Deadline Day he left West Ham. But it was with a bitter taste as Wilshere claimed on Twitter that he is fit and available for selection and he can ‘still play at very top’  but not being considered.

When at Arsenal he was billed as the next Cesc Fabregas , An extremely talented player, Wilshere made 197 first-team appearances for Arsenal and was part of the 2014 and 2015 FA Cup-winning sides. He has 34 England caps, the last of which came in the 2-1 defeat by Iceland in the 2016 European Championship last 16.

But injury after injury have ruined his career since then and now it seems the West Ham management don’t see him as worth an opportunity. But can he still cut it in the Premier League, who knows but i’d like to think so. A team at the lower end of the league that need something to survive – Fulham for example should consider him. The Daily Express even claim that Arsenal fans want him to re-sign for their side

A move to the Championship may be more realistic with former club Bournemouth being linked with a move along with Scottish Premiership leaders Rangers. Wherever he ends up it will be one to keep an eye on to see if he can rekindle any of his talent in what remains of his career.

Wanted man: a profile on james tarkowski

As the bids pour in from West Ham United for Burnley centre-half James Tarkowski, what better time than to profile the centre-half, who could end up fetching a hefty fee this summer, with a release clause apparently set an eye-watering £50 million.

A 27 year old Tarkowski may be no spring chicken, but unlike many top flight footballers his rise to prominence came rather later in his career than most.

Now a mainstay in Sean Dyche’s solid Burnley XI, it is safe to say Tarkowski earned his stripes before making it in the big time.

Early Life

Born in Manchester and with Polish family blood, hence the surname, Tarkowski joined the academy at Blackburn Rovers before his release at the age of 14 at his own request.

Following a spell of toughening up in adult football in the North West Counties league for Maine Road, the no nonsense defender was signed by Oldham Athletic when he left school on a two-year scholarship, and was handed a professional contract in 2011 at Boundary Park.

The now Burnley man’s first taste of pro senior football came on  22 January 2011 when he appeared as a second half substitute for the Latics.

Lower League Sensation

Tawkowski went on to make 89 appearances for Oldham in all competitions, but in truth he was showing signs of a far greater level than the club could offer.

Despite this, Oldham attempted to keep their man by offering him a new contract, before a then League One Brentford came calling in 2014. Soon-after the Tic was a Bee after the two clubs agreed an undisclosed fee and the centre-half put pen to paper on a three and a half year deal.

After playing a bit-part role in Brentford’s promotion to the Championship, it was in the second tier of English football when the Englishman began to show his true potential.

His form across his 57 Championship outings in two seasons brought the attention of multiple clubs, with Sean Dyche’s Burnley ultimately being the lucky side to secure his signature.

On 1 February 2016, Tarkowski signed a three-and-a-half-year contract with a promotion chasing Clarets side for another undisclosed fee.

In truth the defender hasn’t always been first choice at Turf Moor, suffering a watching brief for large portions of his early time at the club, until the departure of Michael Keane to Everton opened up a position in the heart of the Burnley defence, Tarkowski has never looked back.

Since 2017/18 he has played 103 Premier League matches, including appearing in each of Burnley’s 38 games last term, underlining his new found importance to Dyche’s side. No wonder the rough speaking manager is desperate to keep hold of his man.

England Honours

Having been eligible to play for Poland through his grandfather, On 15 March 2018, Tarkowski was named in the England squad for friendlies against the Netherlands and Italy, making his debut on 27 March at Wembley Stadium starting in a 1-1 draw with the Italians.

A man of currently only two caps, there is no doubt more will come should he continue his outstanding form in the future, wherever he plies his trade.

Where Next?

With reported major interest from West Ham, including two rejected bids to date, and with Leicester City seemingly monitoring the situation, where next for James Tarkowski? If anywhere.

Whilst there is no doubt his form and levels of consistency make him worthy of a move to perhaps the slightly upper echelons of the Premier League, £50 million seems a little extortionate, although for for £10 million less you’re getting half the player Harry Maguire is, and the 27 year old Burnley man certainly isn’t that.

The West Ham link seems a strange one, not because David Moyes’ squad wouldn’t benefit from the centre back, because they would. More because it’s somewhat of a sideways, arguably backwards move for him. Despite the perceived size of the clubs, the claret and blue of Burnley finished a full six places higher than the claret and blue of West Ham last term.

It could easily be argued the Leicester switch is a more desirable, viable and perhaps suitable one. A team who certainly threatened the top four for much of the season, have Europa League football, and will compete in the domestic trophies, is perhaps whereabouts Tarkowski should be aiming.

Ready For The Elite?

TalkSport host Ally McCoist did recently question why some of the big boys in the top flight weren’t making their enquiries, however a crack at the very elite levels may just be one tiny step too far for the twice capped England man.

That said Tarkowski did make the WhoScored.com European team of the season a line-up is based purely on statistics as Burnley kept the same number of clean sheets as champions Liverpool in 2019/20, largely down to that man leading the defence.

Hammers and Hornets face off, with winner takes all

Friday evening at the London Stadium will see West Ham lock horns with fellow strugglers Watford, with an 8 pm kick off.

It goes without saying that this is a must win game for both sides. Winner takes all. Loser, could well find themselves on the cusp of being relegated down to the Championship.

The Hammers go into Friday’s crucial game on the back of a 4-0 victory against already relegated Norwich at the weekend. It was an afternoon to remember for striker Michail Antonio, who bagged all four goals on the day.

Watford, who are a place behind West Ham on goal difference by -6,  will travel with confidence after consecutive victories in their last two games against Norwich 2-1 and Newcastle 2-1 at the weekend.

Before Hornets fans start getting too confident ahead of Friday’s game, take a look at their away record which isn’t good. Watford have slumped to four successive defeats on their travels, with defeats against Chelsea, Burnley, Crystal Palace and Man. Utd.

More worryingly, however, is that they haven’t kept a clean sheet in those four games and not scored either.

West Ham have had mixed fortunes at home of late with two wins out of their last five home matches.

Aside from Norwich, Watford are currently the lowest scorers on the road, with just 11 goals scored.

In previous meetings between the sides it is West Ham who just have the edge with five victories to Watford’s four and two matches drawn.

When these sides met at Vicarage Road back in late August, West Ham beat Watford 3-1 thanks to a brace from Sebastien Haller.

Antonio, is clearly the player to watch on Friday. The West Ham striker looks back to his best having scored six goals in his last four appearances, and currently leads the West Ham scoring charts with eight.

Like the hosts, Watford have also struggled to score goals this season. Troy Deeney is the leading scorer for the Hornets with eight goals, including his recent double against Newcastle.

It will certainly be a nervy encounter for both sides on Friday. It is a game that neither side will want to lose and if one of them can get a win on the night, it will give them some breathing space down the bottom of the table.

It would also see either West Ham or Watford on the verge of safety for another season.

See current Premier League Table in link below:

https://247-football.com/2020/06/25/premier-league-table/