Football Season Guide

West Ham United


Manuel Lanzini(mid) (Al Jazira), Gokhan Tore(mid) (Besiktas - Loan), Sofiane Feghouli(mid) (Free), Ashley Fletcher(att) (Free), Havard Nordtveit(mid) (Free), Sam Westley(def) (VVV-Venlo - End of Loan)


James Tomkins(r)(def) (Crystal Palace), Elliot Lee(att) (Released), Joey O'Brien(def) (Released), Stephen Hendrie(def) (Blackburn Rovers - Loan), Emmanuel Emenike(att) (Fenerbahce - End of Loan), Alex Song(mid) (Barcelona - End of Loan)

West Ham United's final season at Upton Park proved to be a historic one as the club broke a number of records in the Premier League era in Slaven Bilic's first season in charge as they collected their highest number of points and scored the most number of goals. West Ham were also in with a shout to break into the top four for large parts of the season but a dip in form in the final weeks of the campaign meant that they had to settle for a seventh placed finish, their best in nearly 15 years. With increased TV revenue allowing the club to be more ambitious in the transfer market as well as the move to Olympic Stadium, West Ham fans will be looking forward to the new season with heightened expectations. Bilic will be looking for build on from hugely successful season but much will depend on whether West Ham do qualify to the group stages of the Europa League. A seventh placed finish coupled with Manchester United's triumph in the FA Cup meant that West Ham qualified for Europe for a second successive season. Romanian side Astra Giurgiu once again lie in wait for West Ham in the Playoff round and while West Ham will be itching to avenge their defeat from last season, it remains to be seen whether the squad is equipped to handle rigors of Europa League proper. Shrewd signings played a key role in turning West Ham from a midtable side to European challengers last season and the club has looked to repeat that performance this summer as well, adding a number of quality signings to an already formidable squad. West Ham once again focused on improving their attack with Manuel Lanzini being their biggest outlay in the summer so far, with the midfielder converting his loan move from UAE side Al-Jazira into a permanent transfer, while Gokhan Tore has also been snapped up in a loan deal from Besiktas. Sofiane Feghouli has been signed on a free transfer and the midfielder will provide greater penetration and a goal scoring threat from the wings and Bilic will be hoping that the Algerian will be an impact similar to that of Dimitri Payet whose stock has risen considerably following an excellent campaign both for the club and country. West Ham are also looking to boost their striking options and have reportedly agreed a fee with Swansea City for Ghana striker Andre Ayew while Havard Nordtveit has also arrived on a free transfer after his contract expired at Borussia Monchengladbach. For all their attacking prowess though, defense could prove to be a weak link for West Ham once again. The Hammers conceded 51 goals last season, with only Stoke City and Chelsea shipping in more goals among the teams who finished in the top half last season, and their options have been further reduced with James Tomkins moving on to Crystal Palace while Aaron Cresswell is out for some time with an injury, though Bilic seems to be satisfied with the players that are currently available


Will be looking to take another shot at securing Champions League qualification but a top seven finish looks a more realistic prospect this season