After a disappointing transfer window last summer, things are certainly looking up for West Ham United this time around. Deals for Stoke City’s Marko Arnautovic and Bayer Leverkusen’s Javier Hernandez look set to be complete by Monday, and along with Joe Hart and Pablo Zabaleta could the Hammers push for a top seven finish this season and enter Europe?
BREAKING: @WestHamUtd agree deal in principle to sign @CH14_ from @bayer04fussball – Sky sources. #SSN pic.twitter.com/eridjqRyPy
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) July 20, 2017
According to Sky Sports sources, West Ham have agreed a £16m fee with Leverkusen and terms have been accepted with the Mexican, who will arrive in London for a medical on Monday.
Likewise, with Arnautovic, the Hammers will pay Stoke 24 million pounds, with the Austrian in London on Friday to complete his medical procedures before putting pen to paper.
BREAKING: @stokecity forward Marko Arnautovic having @WestHamUtd medical this morning – Sky sources. #SSN pic.twitter.com/y8Oe0IDa5X
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) July 21, 2017
The former Manchester United striker left Old Trafford back in 2015 after five seasons with the club. He was on loan at Real Madrid for one year where he was hailed a God after scoring the winner in the Champions League quarter-final against rivals Atletico Madrid, before leaving to join Bayer in 2016.
Hernandez – widely known as Chicharito, which means little pea – has bagged 39 goals in 76 games over the past two seasons in Germany, and just like at Los Blancos and the Red Devils he became a fan favourite.
He is the type of players Hammers fans will love, anyone who is hardworking and can hit the back of the net is always cherished around East London. They are not only getting a proven Premier League goal scorer, but also an International star. The poacher became Mexico’s all-time leading goal scorer with his 47th goal for his country in June.
At the age of 29, the Mexican has plenty left in the tank and will relish a return to England, he will look to prove any doubters wrong as to why he was let go by Man Utd.
Arnautovic is 28, and again in his prime, so in my opinion, this is another great deal from joint chairmen David Gold and David Sullivan. He is an Austrian International with 62 caps to his name.
Stoke brought the play-maker from Werder Bremen four years ago, and he recently signed a new four-year contract, however interest from the Hammers caught his eye and he handed in a transfer request to try to force a move.
He can play anywhere across the midfield or as a striker if needed and could be the perfect man to fill the void left by Dimitri Payet. His power and flair style is similar to the Frenchmen’s, so like Hernandez, Hammers fans will take very kindly to him.
With well over 150 Premier League appearances between both men, they bring much-needed experience to a West Ham side that at times looked vulnerable last campaign.
Heavy defeats during the season to Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool, made the Hammers look like school kids versus adults, so with Zabaleta and Joe Hart also adding muscle and a voice this could be a very exciting and upcoming season for West Ham.
Slaven Bilic’s side only managed to score 47 times in the whole of last season’s League campaign and also conceded 64, ended the year in 11th place with a goal difference of -17.
After the big hype of the move to the London Stadium from Upton Park, the board promised fans some big name signings, however failed bids for Carlos Bacca, Michy Batshuayi and Alexandre Lacazette, the spectators had to settle for Jonathan Calleri, Simone Zaza and Gokhan Tore, who all flopped and didn’t help with the worryingly poison atmosphere that was being created.
The Payet saga didn’t help things either as the France International decided to throw a wobbly in January and Bilic, like the fans, lost their hero.
Things look different this summer, the two completed deals of Hart and Zabaleta have been welcomed and the two new additions of Hernandez and Arnautovic have already had a huge effect on social media, so the ground will already be rocking and have a different feel going into its second season since the famous move.
Jose Mourinho was speaking in an interview with Sky Sports where he told reporters of his feelings regarding West Ham’s business so far.
” You see West Ham, and they have got me thinking about the first game of the season for when we [Man United] face them. They have got Joe Hart, Chicarito and Arnautovic. West Ham, Wow! It looks like they are playing to win the Premier League this year, just like us,” the Portuguese explained.
West Ham are definitely moving in the right direction and who knows with maybe more players to come in and along with some exciting youth players coming through like, Reece Burke and Oxford, also Josh Cullen, the Hammers could well be up in the top European positions come May 2018 time….