West Ham’s debut season at the London Stadium hasn’t exactly been one for fans to remember fondly, as Slaven Bilic’s side have struggled to build upon their push to Europa League football last season and have languished at the bottom of the Premier League standings.
Whilst their safety is not yet mathematically secure, the Hammers should have put enough distance between them and the relegation zone ahead of the final few weeks of the season, which means the East London side can start to think about potential summer business.
A number of positions in the Hammers squad need to be bolstered but there is a desperate need for a quality goalkeeper, with Spanish stopper Adrian linked with an exit and Darren Randolph under scrutiny for some poor performances.
Therefore, West Ham would be well advised to seek a new first-choice goalkeeper in the transfer market and the perfect candidate is recently-relegated Jordan Pickford, who is likely to leave Sunderland this summer to remain in the Premier League.
Just 23-years-old, Pickford is widely regarded to be one of the best young goalkeepers in the country and is likely to establish himself as England’s first-choice goalkeeper in the coming years, having attracted a wealth of interest.
West Ham may find themselves fighting off big guns in the market for Pickford but he’d certainly benefit from a move to the London Stadium, as the pressure on his shoulders wouldn’t be as significant as it would if he joined a top-six side.
Pickford could continue to develop at West Ham and the Hammers would boast a fine goalkeeper in their ranks, as well as one that provides tremendous sell on value in the coming years- which is something that will be crucial to West Ham’s rise to the top.
The Hammers will be aware that competing with the established top-six and the likes of Everton will not be easy but they should take a leaf out of Southampton’s books, as the Saints have mastered their transfer strategy and earn tremendous profit each summer from sales.
Whilst the Saints would certainly prefer to keep their top talents on the South Coast, the club have accepted that the lure of a bigger side is difficult to fend-off but they’ve managed to take positives out of regular departures, by securing players that can be top-class for minimal fees.
Pickford would be a player in that bracket for West Ham and the Hammers would hold a huge bargaining chip in the coming years. The club need to accept that big players are likely to be lured by bigger clubs in the future, so they need to sort out their transfer strategy to ensure some positives remain.
For Pickford, a move to West Ham would help him harness his skills and secure regular Premier League football, which is exactly what he needs at this moment in time, and he’ll join a project that has great potential as long as it’s managed correctly.