Manuel Pellegrini is targeting a top-six finish in the Premier League following last weekend’s 3-2 victory over Crystal Palace.
James McArthur handed the Eagles an early lead at the London Stadium, but the Hammers quickly hit break after the interval. Robert Snodgrass levelled the score before Javier Hernandez, and Felipe Anderson doubled their advantage. A late Jeffrey Schlupp goal wasn’t enough for Roy Hodgson’s side as West Ham held on for all three points to move tenth in the table.
The result means West Ham have won three consecutive games for the first time since December 2016 and appear to have finally adjusted to Pellegrini’s methods. Should their form continue, a top six finish may not be out the realms of possibility. The Chilean is reportedly keen to bolster his defence during the January transfer window to boost their chances of finishing in Europe.
One man who should be on his shortlist is Manchester United veteran – Antonio Valencia. Valued at £7.2m by Transfermarkt, the Ecuador international has been a mainstay in the United side since transforming into a right-back. However, Valencia has fallen out of favour under Jose Mourinho, making four appearances in the Premier League this season. With his contract set to expire at the end of the season, an exit could be on the cards in January.
The defender has bags of experience in the Premier League and Europe which could prove vital as the season draws to a close. Valencia remains as fit as ever despite being 33-years-old and has been one of United’s most consistent performers in recent years. With Pablo Zabaleta approaching the end of his career and Ryan Fredericks struggling, the former Wigan man would be the ideal short-term solution to Pellegrini’s problems.
He still has a few years left at the highest level and could prove to be a bargain for the Hammers.
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