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West Ham poised to make more statement signings

West Ham are poised to complete the transfers of Javier Hernandez from Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen and Marko Arnautovic from Stoke City.

Coupled with the recent signings of England goalkeeper Joe Hart and Argentinian defender Pablo Zabaleta, both from Manchester City, the Hammers’ summer business will have been very successful indeed.

Compared to the disappointing arrivals of last summer, West Ham’s owners have, to their credit, come good on the promise to bring top-quality players to the London Stadium.

If, as expected, Hernandez does sign for West Ham, it will mean the club’s long hard search for a striker could be finally over.

With Andy Carroll continually injured, the Hammers have been in desperate need of a regular goal scorer for a number of seasons.

Hernandez, who is Mexico’s record goal scorer, certainly fits the bill and will arrive with plenty of Premier League experience. He scored 59 goals in 157 appearances for Manchester United between 2010 and 2015.

According to reports from Europe, Hernandez will arrive in London over the weekend for a medical and to complete the deal, which could see West Ham paying up to £18 million.

The fee for the Mexican forward could be surpassed by the reported £23 million fee West Ham are poised to pay for Austrian winger Arnautovic.

Again, reports suggest he is having a medical and will be unveiled as the Hammers’ club record signing over the weekend.

Having played well during four seasons in the Potteries, scoring 26 goals along the way, Arnautovic is the sort of player the club lacked last season.

Fast, skilful and able to score goals, his arrival could mean either of the misfiring Sofiane Feghouli and Robert Snodgrass could be sold.

Things are looking up, and West Ham fans should be optimistic about the forthcoming season if these signings all happen.

Lanzini still the main man

Whatever the outcome, and judging by Thursday’s pre-season friendly victory against Fulham in Austria, Manuel Lanzini will remain West Ham’s most important player. The midfielder is also the man to help Hernandez get the 20 goals the club wants him to score.

Lanzini only played the first half against Fulham, but in those 45 minutes he ran the show and scored the opening goal in the 2-1 win. The second half midfield pairing of Mark Noble and Pedro Obiang looked pedestrian in comparison.

The new signings will make a huge difference but Lanzini will be pulling the midfield strings.

About Martin Cooper

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