West Ham are currently trying their best to find a replacement for former striker Sebastien Haller, but there are still other areas that need strengthening.
It seems that West Ham could be closing on a deal for Stade Reims striker Boulaye Dia. The Senegalese striker would fit the system David Moyes likes to play as he has a similar play style to Michail Antonio.
The Hammers had been linked with a plethora of strikers from around Europe from Patson Daka to Adam Armstrong and now Dia. Though a deal is not yet been completed, it is believed the 24-year-old is now the club’s top target as they look to tie up a deal before the end of the transfer window.
Bringing a striker is, of course, the club’s top priority as the injury-prone Antonio can not be relied on to play every minute until the end of the season. The Englishman has already missed a substantial amount of football this season and is only just returning to full fitness. Hopefully, the potential signing of Dia can help take the pressure off.
The signing of the striker is all well and good, but there are still positions in the squad that need investment before the month is over. If West Ham want to succeed this season, they must address these areas.
The Hammers are currently a bit stuck in terms of their defensive shape. The best football Moyes’ side had played this season was with wing-backs. But with an injury to Arthur Masuaku, it has forced a change on the team’s system.
Aaron Cresswell is not able to play in the left-wing-back role due to his lack of pace. The defender has also proved that he can excel in the left-centre-back position with the support of a wing-back. Cresswell has rejuvenated his career this season in his new position, but this does not help address the current crisis.
Ben Johnson has been given chances to impress at left-wing-back. The academy graduate is a fine player but is naturally a right-sided player. Johnson can often be caught out of position due to no real fault of his own. Masuaku was the only player capable of being effective in the position, and options are short with his injury.
To be successful in the Premier League, a squad needs two quality options in each position in case of injury or suspension. West Ham doesn’t have this in the left-wing-back role and are currently having to play with a traditional back four. Cresswell is playing as a left-back but as fans know it is only a matter of time before the 30-year-old gets caught out.
Ideally, the club would sign a player that is capable of playing at both left-back and left-wing-back. This would allow Moyes to change system depending on the opposition and the circumstances of the match.