West Ham have enjoyed a successful summer and have secured a wealth of top-class additions, with the Hammers bolstering their squad with the captures of Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta, Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez.
However, there’s a real danger that all their hard work could be thrown out the window in the final weeks of the summer transfer window if they fail to keep hold of their key-players- which may prove to be difficult.
Paris Saint-Germain’s world-record capture of Neymar from Barcelona has started a domino sequence of transfer events that could drastically effect the Premier League, as the Catalan giants are pushing to land Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool.
The Reds are determined to keep their Brazilian starlet but may find it difficult to fend off Barcelona’s interest and West Ham should certainly be concerned, as the reports indicate Jurgen Klopp has identified Manuel Lanzini as his ideal replacement.
Due to inflated market prices and the fact that Liverpool will be desperate after losing Coutinho’s services, West Ham can expect to receive an inflated price for the services of Lanzini but a sale cannot be considered.
West Ham have worked extremely hard to assemble a side that’s capable of pushing for European spots in the forthcoming season and losing Lanzini would be a huge blow, as it would leave a massive void to be filled in their attacking quartet.
The Hammers first-choice attacking line is likely to consist of Arnautovic, Lanzini and Michail Antonio behind Javier Hernandez and Argentine ace Lanzini is perhaps the most important part of that quartet, as he’d be playing in the central position.
Replacing Lanzini would certainly not be easy, especially as the Hammers don’t have European football to offer, and the inflated prices in the market mean that Slaven Bilic would end-up having to pay way over the odds for a replacement.
On paper, the only stand-out replacement for Lanzini would be Everton’s Ross Barkley but the Toffees have monstrous demands for the England international despite the fact his contract saga has left Ronald Koeman’s side with a difficult bargaining position.
Barkley is also a player who has looked to have stagnated in recent years, whereas Lanzini is on the rise and could become a leading Premier League player over the course of the coming years.