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January targets emerging as West Ham look to continue rise

Gone are the days when the London Stadium offered a toxic atmosphere, with fan protests regularly taking place and matters on the pitch causing huge alarm, particularly given the promises David Sullivan and David Gold, among others, made when the club left Upton Park. Now, West Ham United is beginning to realise its potential, which has, in turn, coincided with the return of David Moyes as manager.

The Scot, who did similar things at Everton, has managed to unify the club and – most importantly of all – unite his squad of players. Despite still not really replacing the likes of Sébastien Haller, with Michail Antonio making the central striker’s role his own, Moyes has managed to perform miracles with his relatively thin squad. A number of notable results in the Premier League already this campaign have left fans wondering whether or not finishing in the top four could be a possibility. MansionBet football odds are currently priced at 5/2 on such an outcome, although a top-six finish at 20/29 might be more likely. Under Moyes, though, the club is certainly going from strength to strength. If a sprinkling of quality can be added in January, then West Ham’s chances of breaking the top clubs’ monopoly would surely increase.

There are certainly areas where the team could do with some reinforcements, though. For instance, Michail Antonio is having a remarkable season, but if he were to pick up a long-term injury, then the team’s superb start could begin to wane. Now is the time for the Hammers hierarchy – especially with Daniel Kretinsky now involved – to back Moyes further and give him the necessary funds to add to the squad in the January transfer window. With that in mind, below is a look at some of the names being linked with a move to the club in the New Year.

Weston McKennie – Juventus

According to recent reports, Juventus ace Weston McKennie is being considered by Moyes and his recruitment staff. Only 23 years-old, the USA international midfielder is a serious option after falling out of favour at the Italian giants. Whether or not the Hammers need a central midfield player is up for debate, but McKennie would certainly represent an ambitious move by the club.

Jesse Lingard – Manchester United

A player the West Ham faithful know all about after a successful loan spell last campaign, Jesse Lingard is continually being linked with a return to the club. Journalist Paul Brown thinks that West Ham and Moyes have always been interested in re-signing Lingard, but there are concerns over his wages and whether or not he sees West Ham as a club matching his ambitions. With just 12 months left on his contract at the Red Devils, the Hammers might bide their time until the end of the season and attempt to get him for a cut-price or even on a free.

Nikola Milenkovic – Fiorentina

Despite the recent addition of Kurt Zouma, David Moyes is said to be looking at a number of defensive reinforcements. A leading target, according to some reports, is Nikola Milenkovic, a commanding centre-back who can also operate at right-back. Fiorentina are thought to regard the Serbian as ‘untransferable’, though.

Giovanni Simeone – Hellas Verona

Finally, a striker! In the case of Giovanni Simeone, the link is an exciting one too. Son of Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone, the Argentine has been on fire this season, with nine goals and three assists to his name at the time of writing. A hardworking forward with an eye for goal, Giovanni Simeone would be a shrewd addition.

Alexandre Lacazette – Arsenal

A player who has recently been linked with a move to the club, Alexandre Lacazette’s time at Arsenal appears to be coming to an end as he continues his search for regular first-team football. Whether or not Moyes could guarantee him that at West Ham is probably unlikely, but there is no doubting that the side has been linked with more underwhelming players in the past. Lacazette’s teammate Eddie Nketiah has also been mooted.

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