After taking the Premier League by the storm last year, West Ham United have had to endure a very poor first-half of the season. However, a recent upturn in results has seen them rise to the relative safety of 13th position in the table, after looking like they would certainly be embroiled in a relegation battle.
While the team has collectively failed to recapture the form from last term, what has been most disappointing for the Hammers is the fact that all their summer signings have floundered big time. Simone Zaza, Jonathan Calleri are almost certain to end their loan spells at the Olympic Stadium whereas Sofiane Feghouli has flattered to deceive after arriving with so much promise.
So, it has become imperative for West Ham to identify key areas that need to reinforced in the now-open January transfer window, and to spot the right personnel to help them rediscover their touch as they work towards inching towards the top half of the table.
The lack of goals has been an area of concern for manager Slaven Bilic this term, with none of his strikers scoring regularly enough. He has had to rely on Dimitri Payet and Michail Antonio for the goals and the Hammers have recognised this hitch and have targeted Sunderland striker Jermaine Defoe and Hull City attacker Robert Snodgrass to ease their issues in front of goal. It has also been reported that West Ham made a £3 million bid for Snodgrass and £6 million for Defoe, which were rejected by both the clubs emphatically.
Defoe has been sensational at Sunderland ever since he made the return to the Premier League. He single-handedly helped the Black Cats stave off relegation last term under Sam Allardyce and has been in excellent form this season as well, scoring 11 times in the league in 20 games with his team again involved in the relegation scramble.
The 34-year old is an extremely pivotal character for David Moyes and Sunderland and they will not be willing to sell him, especially for as low as 6 million and are under no pressure to do so either, given Defoe’s existing deal runs till the summer of 2019.
Robert Snodgrass too has been exceptional for bottom-placed Hull City. The Scottish international has scored 9 goals and set up 2 goals for the Tigers this term in all competitions and has been their lone bright spot in a season that looks to be headed towards the drop back to the EFL Championship. The 29-year old has scored some amazing goals this term and has been excellent from set-pieces especially.
Snodgrass recently signed a one-year contract extension with Hull City and given their current position, they would not want to sell their top scorer in the league this term. And new manager Marco Silva reinstated that fact in his latest interview, where he issued a hands-off warning to all the clubs interested in the services of the Scotsman.
Given the amount of goals that Defoe will bring and a bag full of experience he possesses in the Premier League, it makes perfect sense for the Hammers to show interest in the striker. Snodgrass too has been unstoppable in the final third and his goals and drive from midfield is something that the Londoners could definitely use.
However, the bids that they reportedly submitted, were derisory, to say the least. These players are of extreme quality and have been performing at a very high level for their teams and given their contract situations, there is no pressure on the teams to sell them. Bilic and West Ham could be greatly benefitted from their quality and their abilities and that is why it is very important that the Hammers return with much-improved bids and sign the duo in January.