2015/16 Finish: 6th
Working together, Dimitri Payet and manager Slaven Bilic achieved a 6th place finish for the London club, higher than many were expecting. The Hammers played some exciting football and the brilliance of Payet was a joy to watch throughout the season. West Ham threatened to break into the top four for parts of last season, ultimately finishing just 4 points off of the coveted Champions’ League places. West Ham had a very successful final season at the Boleyn Ground and the future for the club looks bright with their move to the Olympic Stadium.
Transfers In: Purchased: Martinez (FW), Nordtveit (CM), Quina (FW), Feghouli (RW), Fletcher (FW), Masuaku (LB), Ayew (FW), Lanzini (CAM). Loan: Tore (RW)
West Ham’s business so far has been very astute. Feghouli and Nordtveit add experience and depth in key positions and both joined on free transfers. The club have loaned in Gokhan Tore, the Turkish international undoubtedly has the talent to really make an impact, but his attitude questionable at best. The signing of Andre Ayew, while a good purchase for the club, raises some questions… Was he signed to play with Payet or to replace him? West Ham have made a lot of signings this window to play in similar positions so the purchase of Ayew could, and probably should, concern West Ham supporters.
Transfers Out: Released: O’Brien (RB), Lee (FW). Sold: Tomkins (CB)
West Ham haven’t had many outs this summer, which in truth, is probably best. Keeping the young squad together and settled will only improve their chances at improving next season. Tomkins was sold to Crystal Palace for £10m, a good sum of money for a player who featured 25 times for the Hammers last year.
Key Player(s): Dimitri Payet
Payet was a sensation in his first year in the premier league. After leading Ligue 1 with 17 assists, Payet joined West Ham and managed 9 goals and 12 assists. Despite his injury, the French midfielder’s stellar performances last campaign and his great showing in helping France reach the final of the Euros has gained the attention of top clubs around the world. It will be difficult for West Ham to hold on to their star, but if they manage to do so, the sky is the limit for the club.
2016/17 Predicted Finish: 7th
West Ham United will have to cope with a congested fixture list with a Europa League season coming up, so squad depth will be crucial to their success this year. Despite having faith that West Ham will continue to improve, we have them dropping down the table to 7th place. As things stand, 7th in a much stronger Premier League would be considered a success for the club in our eyes. With that said, if the Hammers do lose Dimitri Payet, they could be in serious trouble of falling even further down the table.