The West Ham United fans in the Transfer Tavern are hoping their side will beat the drop this season and make a handful of quality signings to ensure that they return to the top-half during the next campaign.
West Ham’s Premier League status is far from secure as we enter the business end of the season, but the resident Hammers propping up our bar believe they have enough quality to beat the drop. The club have spent £51 million on players in the previous two transfer windows on the likes of Marko Arnautovic, Javier Hernandez and Jordan Hugill, so the fact their safety is far from secure will certainly concern the clubs hierarchy.
There have been brief moments this season where West Ham have looked like a side who are capable of challenging for the top-six, particularly when Manuel Lanzini and Marko Arnautovic are on top form. However, the club are lacking a considerable level of depth within their squad, as without the aforementioned pairing they are distinctly lacking the presence of a creative influence in the final-third.
With that being said, it’s vital that the club splash the cash once again this summer in a bid to rectify this glaring problem at the club. According to The Sun, the club have already identified Bryan Cristante as a potential target who could improve their potency in the final third, although they face competition for his signature from a whole host of clubs including Liverpool and Arsenal.
Cristante’s contract is currently with Benfica, but he is currently playing his trade on loan in Serie A with Atalanta. So far this season Cristante has scored 10 goals and provided 2 assists from 34 appearances in all competitions. His record is impressive, yet not outstanding, but the fact 3 of his goals arrived against Napoli, Juventus and AC Milan suggests he is a big-game player, and at just 23-years-of-age there is plenty of scope for improvement.
West Ham’s interest in Cristante will clearly be dictated by whether they remain a Premier League club at the end of the season, but based on the assumption that they will steer well clear of the drop zone, they should do everything they can to fend off competition from rival clubs in the summer and sign a player who could push The Irons towards a Europa League place next season.