West Ham are typically a club that overspends in a window, but since the re-appointment of David Moyes, we have seen great pickups in the market at relatively low prices in comparison to their transfer kitty. Examples of this include Nayef Aguerd and Emerson Palmieri, with another being the recently departed Craig Dawson. With the sale of Declan Rice growing increasingly likely, here are a few players that West Ham have been linked with signing for the 2023/24 season, including the effect they could have on the team.
1) James Ward-Prowse.
Southampton's James Ward-Prowse has been a loyal player, staying with the club throughout his career. However, he has been a target for West Ham in multiple transfer windows, showcasing his quality and attracting the admiration of manager David Moyes. With Southampton's recent relegation to the Championship, this presents a golden opportunity for West Ham to pursue Ward-Prowse and secure his services. Ward-Prowse's proficiency in set-pieces makes him an enticing prospect for West Ham, especially considering their success in scoring from corners during the 2020/21 campaign under Moyes. His ability to deliver accurate crosses and deadly free-kicks would undoubtedly add a new dimension to West Ham's attacking prowess.
However, it is important to note that Ward-Prowse does have limitations in the defensive aspects of his game. To maximize his impact, West Ham would need to sign a defensive-minded player alongside him, ensuring a balanced midfield setup. This would allow Ward Prowse to focus on his strengths in dictating play and creating scoring opportunities.
The reported price tag of £40 million set by Southampton (as per Football London) might initially deter West Ham, as it represents a significant portion of their transfer budget. Nonetheless, the possibility of securing Ward-Prowse on a five-year contract could make Southampton's demands more tempting for West Ham. The long-term commitment would provide stability and ensure that West Ham maximizes their investment in the talented midfielder.
2) Harvey Barnes.
Harvey Barnes, the talented Leicester City winger, has been making a name for himself in the Premier League with his impressive performances. Considering his skill set and potential, it's clear why West Ham could view him as a valuable addition to their squad. Barnes possesses excellent pace, technical ability, and versatility, which make him a dynamic attacking threat. He has showcased his proficiency in both scoring goals and providing assists, making him a well-rounded player who can contribute effectively to West Ham's attacking play.
One of the key aspects that make Barnes an appealing signing for West Ham is his ability to drive forward with the ball at his feet. His directness and dribbling skills would add a new dimension to West Ham's attacking transitions, providing them with a player who can take on defenders and create scoring opportunities. Furthermore, Barnes has shown consistency in his performances, which is a valuable trait for any player. Despite his young age, he has demonstrated maturity and composure on the field, making him a reliable contributor to Leicester's success. This level of consistency would be highly beneficial for West Ham, who are aiming to establish themselves as a top team in the Premier League.
In addition to his offensive prowess, Barnes is known for his work rate and defensive contribution. He is not afraid to track back and help his team defensively, which aligns with the work ethic and discipline that David Moyes demands from his players. This aspect of his game would fit well within the tactical framework that Moyes has implemented at West Ham. While there may be competition for Barnes' signature, his market value may be possess the ability to drop slightly due to Leicester's recent relegation and the potential long-term benefits of signing him should not be overlooked. At just 25 years old, he has plenty of room for development and could become an integral part of West Ham's future success.
Although a high market value of £40m, as per Football Insider, West Ham should be looking to snap up Barnes for the upcoming season and have him tearing up defences alongside Jarrod Bowen and Lucas Paqueta.