West Ham United will have their sights set on securing a European spot in the current campaign, having come on leaps and bounds under Manuel Pellegrini.
The Hammers started the season off poorly but they’ve slowly started to gather momentum over the past couple of months, which has seen them move up the table and into European contention.
Of course, Manuel Pellegrini’s side would look completely different if he didn’t have to worry about injuries and their January transfer window business was conducted in a different way.
Indeed, the Hammers have been linked with a move for a number of players up until this point in the transfer window, but the majority of them haven’t materialised. However, the London Stadium would be hosting a completely different West Ham United XI if David Gold and David Sullivan had made the most of the links.
With that being said, this is the West Ham XI Pellegrini should have built…
THE WEST HAM XI PELLEGRINI SHOULD HAVE BUILT
Lukasz Fabianski has been simply sensational for the Hammers this season, having come to the rescue on a number of occasions with match-winning saves.
Pablo Zabaleta has been a key player for the Hammers this season and he will continue to play a big part in the second half of the campaign, but if Ryan Fredericks was back from injury it would make sense for Zabaleta to move over to left-back to make room for the Englishman. Ryan Cresswell and Arthur Masuaku haven’t really been able to ensure consistency this season and the Argentine has previous experience at left-back from his time at Man City.
The London club have had to deal with a lack of cover and plenty of inconsistencies in the middle of midfield as the likes of Mark Noble and Pedro Obiang haven’t been able to display much quality. Interestingly, the Hammers were reportedly (as per TuttoMercatoWeb, via HITC) in the race to sign AC Milan’ Franck Kessie, but nothing developed. He would have worked perfectly alongside Declan Rice, with his pace, tackling ability and attack-minded approach helping provide a nice balance of attack and defence.
Manuel Lanzini has spent the current campaign on the sidelines, but a player of his ability will always be able to stroll into the starting XI at the London Stadium if fit.
Indeed, the Hammers should have offloaded Marko Arnautovic and replaced him with Celta Vigo’s Maxi Gomez. The Austrian has been told that he can leave in the summer after his move away from the London Stadium broke down earlier this month. It was reported (as per Sky Sports) that Gomez would be lined up as Arnautovic’s replacement if he departed, but with Arnautovic now looking like staying at the club until the summer at least, any potential move appears to be off (according to West Ham insider ExWHUemployee, via the Express).
West Ham should have sold the attacker and replaced him with the Argentine as he has plenty of potential and has already displayed his goalscoring abilities over in Spain, so they’re missing out.
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