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Eight gamers West Ham ought to signal this summer time – 4 star signings, 4 low-cost alternate options

Manuel Pellegrini splashed out £89.5m during the last summer transfer window as ten new faces arrived to reshape the squad following the appointment of the Chilean.

In came Ryan Fredericks, Lukasz Fabianski, Issa Diop, Felipe Anderson, Andriy Yarmolenko, Fabian Balbuena, Jack Wilshere, Lucas Perez, Carlos Sanchez and Xande Silva as the manager bolstered his ranks.

He lost Yarmolenko and Sanchez to season-ending injuries not long into the campaign, Fabianski has been the best signing of the bunch, while Diop, Balbuena and Anderson have shown plenty of promise.

That said, the need to strengthen the squad again this summer is pretty evident, especially defensively where the Hammers have shipped 46 goals, the most of any side in the top ten.

Pellegrini is going to have to sell before he can splash the big bucks this summer with the likes of Marko Arnautovic, Javier Hernandez, Arthur Masuaku and a number of fringe players potentially on the chopping block.

 

If the club has serious ambitions of breaking into the top six, which is a pretty long shot but you never know, then they will have to spend either big or wisely in the summer as Pellegrini and director of football Mario Husillos will get down to work.

Here are five star signings they could make, and five cheaper alternatives if those stars are out of reach.

Stars

Luka Jovic

Luka Jovic of Eintracht Frankfurt

 

Probably the longest shot of the lot but the Serbian striker is having a fantastic season on loan at Eintracht Frankfurt from Benfica this season, banging in 22 goals across all competitions for the Germans, who have first refusal on a permanent move for him.

Unsurprisingly, his form has seen some of Europe’s big hitters show an interest in his services so in all honesty, the Hammers probably can’t get him but we can all dream, right?

Maxi Gomez

The Uruguayan striker is very much a target for the Hammers this summer having missed out on him in January and they could get him at a cheap price should Celta Vigo be relegated this season.

Gomez would have cost £40m in January but could be available for half that this summer. Husillos and Pellegrini want him in the capital but he has been linked with Barcelona as well.

 

Aleksandar Mitrovic

He’s been linked many times before but the Hammers do still hold an interest in the Fulham man, who will likely leave Craven Cottage if they are relegated from the Premier League.

Reports claim that the Serbian striker could be available £22m, not bad for someone who has proved themselves and that they can score in the Premier League.

Memphis Depay

Lyon forward Memphis Depay

 

The Dutchman has re-invented himself at Lyon after a disappointing spell at Manchester United and would no doubt love another crack at the Premier League.

The Hammers would have to spend big, probably north of £25m to get him, but would he be an upgrade on Michail Antonio? Probably.

Alternatives

Guillermo Maripan

Alaves’ Chilean defender Guillermo Maripan

 

The Alaves centre back has two years left on his contract and is likely to be available at around £10m-£12m this summer. Roma have also been linked too but football.london understands the Hammers are very keen on Maripan and centre back is an area they are targeting this window.

Kieran Tierney

With Arthur Masuaku likely to be shown the exit door this summer if the right offer comes in for him then the club will need to at least sign some competition for Aaron Cresswell, if not a better option, and Tierney would provide just that.

 

Rumour has it that Celtic could be tempted part with a very reasonable £12m for one of the best right backs in Scotland and has shown he can easily adapt to the hustle and bustle of the Premier League.

Antonio Valencia

Antonio Valencia of Manchester United

 

The Ecuadorian is out on contract at the end of the season and will not be offered a new one at Manchester United after making more than 300 appearances for them.

Should Zabaleta move on, they’d be replacing him with another experienced player to compete with Ryan Fredericks for the right back spot. Zabaleta is clearly a better player but the dynamic on that side should still remain.

Erkan Eyibil

Dubbed the “new Mesut Ozil”, Erbil has been excelling for Mainz’s reserves this season and clubs such as West Ham, apparently, are taking notice.

He has scored 12 goals and bagged five assists in just 18 games for Mainz’s youth sides this season and has just one year left on his contract, he could be a bargain. He’s still a teenager so he’ll be raw, but could be a real gem.

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