In his very first managerial season in English football, Slaven Bilic did an excellent job earning a lot of plaudits in the process. The owners had big ambitions for quite a long time and the Croatian delivered that in his maiden season. Now, it’s time for them to build on the success they had achieved the last term. The next season would be crucial for them as they will be looking to take the next step now i.e. breaking into the top four.
From the signings West Ham have made this summer, their intentions are quite loud and clear. Premier League’s so-called big clubs must be wary of the Hammers next season who could very well pull off a Leicester.
In this article, we will be pointing out three players who could be key for West Ham next season.
The Senegalese midfielder offers something none of the West Ham midfielders does i.e. an immense work rate. The 26-year-old covers every blade of grass on the pitch. Defensively he is strong and he is also very much productive in front of goal. There are very few box to box midfielders better than Kouyate in the Premier League right now. With Noble offering the creativity and Nordtveit providing the steel in midfield, Kouyate’s work ethics will play a key role for the Hammers.
This will be the second season of the Italian international in the Premier League. Ogbonna’s impact at Upton Park last season was immense. After a slow start to his West Ham career, Ogbonna cemented his place at the back four thanks to strong displays week in week out. West Ham could bring a new centre-back in the summer to provide competition to Winton Reid but Ogbonna looks like an assured starter at the back. Bilic will look forward to the 28-year-old to bring the defensive stability which could be crucial for their top four ambitions.
Probably one of the most discussed names in world football since last season, Payet was the catalyst to West Ham’s rise under Bilic. The 29-year-old was very much an under the radar signing from Marseille last season but the impact he made at West Ham and for the France national team will definitely attract bigger clubs sooner or later. If he was a few years younger, probably the Real Madrids or Barcelonas would have come calling by now. West Ham’s biggest challenge will be to hold onto the French international. If they can, Payet could fire them into the top four.