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David Moyes needs to spend wisely in January

Filed: Wednesday, 13th December 2017
By: Staff Writer #3

It's been a disappointing start to the season for West Ham as they sit second bottom of the Premier League table after taking just ten points from their first 15 games in the top flight.

Slaven Bilic paid the price for his side's underwhelming performances and was swiftly replaced by David Moyes. The former Everton boss is aiming to restore his reputation in East London following a disastrous spell at Sunderland and he will be given a substantial kitty ahead of the January transfer window, which re-opens on New Year's Day. The Scot is believed to have already set the wheels in motion and is targeting experienced Premier League players who will help make his side harder to break down and subsequently beat the drop.

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Moyes wasn't a universally popular appointment and his reputation has plummeted since he swapped Goodison Park for Old Trafford but his side battled admirably against Manchester City and were only undone by an 84th minute David Silva strike at the Etihad. A chronic lack of goals has been a problem for the Hammers this campaign with summer signing Marko Arnautovic failing to impress and being told to "up his game" by the new man in charge. West Ham paid £24 million for the Austrian but he hasn't been able to find his shooting boots and fans have become understandably frustrated.

The amount remains undisclosed but Moyes is believed to have been handed a sizeable transfer purse, which will enable him to bring in reinforcements, and he will be hoping to add some much-needed competition for places within the squad.

As a result of their downturn in form, West Ham have become second favourites for the drop at 10/11 behind rock-bottom Swansea who are yet to get into double figures this campaign. If you believe that the Hammers will make an unwanted return to the Championship for the first time since 2012 you can use the £50 available in free bets with Ladbrokes as detailed by Oddschecker to back David Moyes' side for relegation. This would leave the Scot with successive relegations on his CV.

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Moyes does have the tendency to sign players who he has previously worked with and it wouldn't be a surprise to see a number of arrivals from both Everton and Manchester United pitch up at the London Stadium in the New Year. Players such as Kevin Mirallas, who is getting limited game time on Merseyside, may be on the list of potential additions.

The club has also been linked with a number of players from across Europe, ranging from Augsburg right-back Daniel Opare through to PSG reject Hatem Ben Arfa. The latter is an unpredictable player but equally frustrating and, with Arnautovic already on the clubs books, a deal from the Frenchman seems unlikely. William Carvalho was a summer target, although Sporting Lisbon were unhappy with the way the club approached the potential deal and they are unlikely to re-visit that pursuit in January. They may be forced to look elsewhere.

Many West Ham fans urged the previous boss Slaven Bilic to play some of the younger players in the squad, including academy graduates Josh Cullen and Declan Rice, but it is believed that the club would be prepared to sell a number of their hottest prospects in order to fund some experienced January signings.

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Harry Arter is believed to be another potential target with the midfielder having cemented his reputation as a reliable Premier League performer at Bournemouth since their promotion to the top flight. Arter is a guaranteed starter for the Cherries and a fully fledged international for the Republic of Ireland and is unlikely to come cheap. Theo Walcott was another player continually linked with a move to West Ham throughout the summer and, although the Arsenal winger is unlikely to be tempted by a relegation battle, he could earn regular game time under Moyes.

The Scot is already under pressure and he needs to deliver results on the pitch. Several under-performing players could leave in January and reinforcements must be drafted in. West Ham can't afford to drop back into the Championship as their wage bill would be astronomically high for that level and Moyes must ensure he uses the allotted transfer kitty wisely when the transfer window swings open on January 1st.

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.

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