West Ham supporters in the Transfer Tavern are very much looking forward to the 2018/19 Premier League season, which for their side gets underway on Sunday.
Manuel Pellegrini took over from David Moyes as the club’s new manager back in the summer amid much anticipation and excitement from Hammers fans, and their business in the transfer window has certainly backed up that positivity. The likes of Felipe Anderson, Andriy Yarmolenko, and Jack Wilshere, to name but a few, have all made the move to the London Stadium, as the East London outfit finally seek to move to the next level in their new stadium this time round.
Thus, it appears that West Ham and their supporters can reflect upon a job well done during the summer, although they may well have missed a trick in failing to get a deal done for Manchester United defender Chris Smalling, who was linked with a move away from Old Trafford for much of the summer.
Ultimately, while the additions of Issa Diop and Fabian Balbuena will go some way to helping solidify a leaky Hammers backline, the injury to Winston Reid earlier in pre-season is sure to come as a big blow to manager Pellegrini, as the New Zealand international has been a stalwart in the West Ham defence for many a year.
Angelo Ogbonna did reasonably well at times last season but was prone to the odd mistake, and while Declan Rice enjoyed an excellent breakthrough campaign, the second season invariably proves to be trickier for the younger players – what’s more, it does appear that he is tailor-made for a role further forward in the Hammers midfield.
And with neither Diop nor Balbuena having played their football in England before, an accomplished Premier League centre back wouldn’t have gone amiss for the Hammers – and it seems that there was one available in United’s Smalling.
The 28-year-old made the move to Old Trafford back in 2010 after impressing in a short stint at Fulham, and the defender has since gone on to appear 289 times for the Red Devils – one does not play that many games for United if one is a not a fine player.
And while he maybe didn’t enjoy the best of campaigns last time round, the England international has certainly proven his credentials at top-flight level over the years to suggest that he could have been an ideal deputy for the injured Reid, and perhaps provided serious competition to new arrivals Diop and Balbuena at the London Stadium.
However, the £16.2 million-rated ace (as per Transfermarkt) remained a United player beyond this evening’s 5pm deadline, thus underlining that the Hammers may well have missed a trick failing to lure him to the capital during the window.
West Ham fans… what do you think? Let us know!