West Ham supporters in the Transfer Tavern are very much looking forward to the new era at the London Stadium following the appointment of Manuel Pellegrini as the new Hammers manager last month.
The 64-year-old replaces David Moyes following the Scot’s departure at the end of last season, this all despite leading the East London outfit to a 13th place finish in the Premier League, having taken over with the club languishing in the bottom three. Nevertheless, the Hammers hierarchy decided against extending his stint as manager and have instead drafted in former Manchester City chief Pellegrini, who led the Citizens to the Premier League title back in 2014, and indeed two League Cup triumphs during his time at the Etihad Stadium.
Thus, there are many excited and indeed expectant West Ham fans in the Tavern at present, several of whom are likely to be devastated by recent reports suggesting that Manuel Lanzini will be out for the whole of the 2018/19 campaign.
And given how influential the Argentine has been in recent seasons, Pellegrini will surely seek to replace the 25-year-old this summer, although reported target Jack Wilshere should not be the man to fill that void.
Ultimately, the 26-year-old has endured a testing time due to injuries for pretty much the majority of his career, with the England international only commanding 198 appearances for Arsenal during his ten-year stint in the first team at the Emirates Stadium.
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And while last term he appeared 38 times for the Gunners, the most he has managed for the North London heavyweights in a season since the 2010/11 campaign, those injury worries will continue to linger – West Ham cannot afford to take such a risk given Lanzini is set for a sustained spell on the sidelines.
In fact, the Hammers should forget about Wilshere, and instead seek to replace Lanzini with £16.2 million-rated ace Mario Gotze (as per Transfermarkt), who has been linked with a move to East London in recent times.
The 26-year-old himself has struggled with injury and illness in recent years but went on to play 32 times for Borussia Dortmund last season, perhaps suggesting that he is beginning to get back to full fitness, and possibly the level he showed during his first stint at the German club.
And that extremely high level, which saw the Germany international score the winning goal in the 2014 World Cup final, will be exactly what should convince Pellegrini of a move for Gotze, as the attacker was, at the time, one of the most impressive forward players in Europe.
The 26-year-old scored 16 goals and laid on 20 assists for Dortmund in the 2012/13 campaign to help them reach the Champions League final, and while many were critical of his time at Bayern Munich, he still managed 36 goals and 24 assists in three seasons at the Allianz Arena.
Thus, not only would he bring genuine quality to the attacking ranks, but he is also a big-game player who has experienced a great deal already in his young career – and at the age of 26, he’s only likely to improve with regular football under his belt.
As such, while Wilshere would obviously be a useful addition to Pellegrini’s squad, they should forget about him, and instead seek to replace the injured Lanzini with World Cup winning star Gotze this summer.
West Ham fans… what do you think? Let us know!