The West Ham United fans were celebrating in the Transfer Tavern this weekend after their side all but secured their survival with an accomplished 2-0 victory over Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.
The resident Hammers faithful propping up our bar were belting out slurred renditions of I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles on Saturday evening and hailing the impact of their captain Mark Noble after his magnificent volley secured all three-points in Leicester. Joao Mario gave West Ham a deserved lead shortly before half-time with a tap in following Marko Arnautovic’s square ball, and Noble executed a textbook volley from 25-yards-out to secure the points in emphatic fashion midway through the second-half.
West Ham’s victory has opened up a 5 point gap between themselves and the bottom-three, so the fear of relegation amongst the supporters has been significantly eased with just two fixtures left to play. However, Stoke City slumped to a 2-1 defeat against Crystal Palace and surrendered their place in the Premier League in the process last Saturday.
Stoke’s relegation after a decade in the top-flight will now open the door for Premier League clubs to poach a handful of their standout players this summer, so David Moyes should be monitoring the situation of Xheredan Shaqiri (valued at £16.2 million by Transfermarkt) prior to the re-opening of the transfer window. Shaqiri has undoubtedly been Stoke’s most effective attacking player this season, but his 8 goals and 6 assists have arrived in vein without the relevant support from his fellow players.
However, the Swiss international would have no such problem at the London Stadium whilst playing alongside the likes of Manuel Lanzini and Marko Arnautovic, so he could be enticed into a move to East London this summer. Considering how impressive Shaqiri has been within a poor Premier League side, it’s likely that a side from the top-six will be interested in prising him away from Stoke this summer, but the promise of first-team football with the Hammers could be a decisive factor in Shaqiri’s future decision.
With power, guile and invention to bring to the table, Shaqiri should be considered a must-buy for West Ham’s hierarchy during the summer window to ensure their club mount a push for European football next season, and also to prove their ambition to the expectant supporters.
West Ham fans – thoughts? Let us know below!