West Ham have endured a turbulent season to kick-off their future at the London Stadium and the club are under a lot of pressure this summer to improve their ranks, following questionable recruits in the close-season a year ago.
The Hammers need to strengthen their squad with top-class arrivals but securing the futures of key-players already in East London needs to be a priority- and the right message was sent out last week with a lucrative new deal handed to star-man Michail Antonio.
However, clubs continue to swoop above the heads of West Ham’s key players and The Daily Mirror states Everton are keen to land Manuel Lanzini this summer- and that’s a deal the Hammers need to fight tooth and nail to avoid.
Argentine ace Lanzini has impressed during the past two years in the Premier League, scoring eight goals this season, and the creative midfielder is a crucial attacking outlet for the Hammers- with potential summer arrivals likely bringing the best out of the young South American.
West Ham only signed the Argentine ace in March 2016, following an impressive loan spell with the Hammers, and offloading the key figure this summer would be a major step backwards, as well as sending the wrong message to their fellow Premier League sides.
Following a disappointing campaign, West Ham need to prove that their ambitions of competing at the top of English football have not changed and a push for a Europa League spot next summer is the target- so selling Lanzini would be detrimental to that claim.
Crucially, the Hammers will face a fight with Everton for a spot within the Premier League’s top-six and selling Lanzini to their rivals would be questionable deal, as it would certainly come back to haunt the Hammers.
Ronald Koeman’s side have impressed this season but face a huge summer of their own, as Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley could both leave, and that opens the door for West Ham to close the gap on the Merseyside outfit.
With the right deals, West Ham could find themselves competing in the top-half of the table once again but keeping the likes of Lanzini is crucial to their ambitions- and they especially need to avoid selling top-class players to fellow Premier League sides.
Following Dimitri Payet’s departure in January, Lanzini is the man who could now be seen as the club’s most effective attacking outlet and the 24-year-old is set to be a key-player next year, alongside Antonio on the right hand side.
With the right attacking signings to compliment Lanzini’s own attacking threat, West Ham could hit gold next season.