The West Ham fans in the Transfer Tavern have been delighted with their club’s progress since David Moyes took charge in November 2017, but they are refusing to count their chickens just yet.
David Moyes has stimulated something of a revival at The London Stadium since he succeeded Slaven Bilic in the West Ham hot-seat back in November which has seen the club move into 12th position in the Premier League. Moyes’ appointment was greeted with plenty of opposition and criticism from the supporters, but it’s fair to say he has firmly silenced those doubters thus far.
Meanwhile, at St Mary’s Stadium, Mauricio Pellegrino has become something of a pantomime villain in comparison with the increasingly popular Moyes. Southampton have desperately struggled for consistency since Pellegrino took charge on the south-coast, and The Saints now sit in the relegation zone with just 11 fixtures left to save their season.
Considering Southampton’s form of late, it seems genuinely plausible that they could be relegated to The Championship this season, even if very few would have predicted that outcome at the beginning of the season.
With that being said, West Ham and other Premier League clubs should now be keeping a close eye on some of Southampton’s stand-out performers, as they could become available for a summer transfer following a relegation to the second-tier of English football.
One player who The Hammers would be wise to keep a close eye on is Southampton’s 23-year-old midfielder James Ward-Prowse (valued at £13.5 million by Transfermarkt). Ward-Prowse has become a first-team regular of late playing on the right-side of Southampton’s midfield, and his incredible ability from dead ball situations has proven to be a valuable weapon for the club in recent weeks.
Although Ward-Prowse is a decent wide-player, West Ham should consider bringing him to the club to inject some creativity into the centre of midfield and to eventually succeed Mark Noble who turns 31 in May. Noble has been a loyal servant to the club where he started his career, but he will need replacing, or at least supporting in the near future as his fitness begins to deteriorate, so Moyes should attempt to bring Ward-Prowse to the club in the summer to provide Noble with a worthy understudy and potential long-term potential replacement.