The European and internal Premier League transfer window has now shut, and West Ham have only brought in one new face. Now the squad is as thin as ever.
West Ham’s only new face was Vladimir Coufal, who was signed last week. The club did also completed permanent deals for Tomas Soucek and academy player Ossama Ashely. Coufal is the only strengthening to the team that finished 16th in the Premier League last season.
In terms of exits, there was a lot. West Ham allowed Grady Diangana, Jordan Hugill, Albian Ajeti, Roberto, Carlos Sanchez, Pablo Zabaleta and Jeremy Ngakia to all leave. Deadline day also saw three more players leave, Jack Wilshere had his contract terminated, and Josh Cullen and Xande Silva shipped out into Europe.
With Cullen gone permanently for £800,000 and Silva being loaned out with a rumoured option to buy the squad was already looking thin. But to make matters worse, Felipe Anderson is currently being linked with a loan move to FC Porto for the next season. That deal could be confirmed as early as today.
Apparently he doesn’t want to leave however but his representatives are in Portugal to complete the deal https://t.co/tU9PVQfVSm
— ExWHUemployee (@ExWHUemployee) October 6, 2020
So with all these players leaving and only one new senior face arriving it has left the squad looking bare as bones. Here is a rundown of the current squad should Anderson also go.
L. Fabianski, D. Randolph, D. Martin.
R. Fredericks, V.Coufal, B.Johnson, I. Diop, F. Balbuena, A. Ogbonna, A. Cresswell and A. Masuaku.
D. Rice, M. Noble, T. Soucek, R. Snodgrass, M. Lanzini, P. Fornals, J. Bowen and A. Yarmolenko.
M. Antonio and S. Haller.
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The club only have 21 first team players available. This includes three goalkeepers and three right-backs. Should a significant injury occur to any other position there simply is not any quality back-up readily available.
There are some positions that arguably only have the depth of one man. In David Moyes current system, an injury to Arthur Masuaku would be disastrous. Aaron Cresswell would be the replacement but does not have the ability to play as a wing-back.
In the attack should Michail Antonio get injured it could cause the whole system to change in order to accommodate Sebastien Haller. The two forwards are entirely different in terms of playing style, and West Ham’s current strategy is reliant on Antonio’s work-rate. Haller would not be able to recreate this with his skillset.
The midfield may have some depth, but it’s depth really lacks in quality. Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek have formed a great partnership, but if one of them were to get injured, it would be detrimental to the clubs season.
There is, however, still some hope for West Ham. The domestic window is still open, and the club is free to sign players from the Championship and below. This secondary market was originally going to be the clubs first choice as Moyes wanted to build his own “Red Bull Project” at the club.
This project would consist of buying young and hungry players from the league below and develop them into Premier League quality. There is plenty of talent available in the Championship. West Ham just needs to buy it.