West Ham United are finally starting to get rolling on the transfer market and a loan move for Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart is poised to go ahead, handing the England international a chance at redemption after he was ousted by Pep Guardiola last summer.
Hart spend last season on-loan with Torino but impressive performances in Italy were not enough to change Guardiola’s mind, with the Citizens landing the pricey signature of Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson, leaving England’s number one pushed further to the exit door.
Manchester City’s demands were difficult to meet, mostly because Joe Hart’s wages would also be huge, but a loan move for West Ham is the ideal sort of deal for Slaven Bilic’s side- and he now needs to land more players with a point to prove.
With West Ham’s stature being significantly less than some of their Premier League rivals and the Hammers coming off the back of a poor season, beating their domestic rivals to big names was always going to be difficult and Bilic must feed off the scraps from the league’s elite.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing though, as the deal for Joe Hart shows, and the fact that Hart has a point to prove after being ousted from Manchester City will certainly work in West Ham’s favour as the season progresses- especially ahead of a World Cup year.
Hart’s position as England number one is up for grabs and he faces an array of competition for his starting spot next summer, with the likes of Southampton’s Fraser Forster, Burnley’s Tom Heaton, Everton’s Jordan Pickford and Stoke City’s Jack Butland all fighting for a seat on the plane to Russia.
The desire to make England’s World Cup team and start in Russia should drive Hart to top-class performances for his club side this season and the Hammers should utilise next summer’s tournament to their advantage, by signing players who also have work to do to retain their spot.
Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud is one name that springs to mind, as the Frenchman will face a battle for first-team football next term following the arrival of Alexandre Lacazette, and West Ham need to keep their eyes open for any more deals that match those criteria.