Premier League team guide: West Ham in the spotlight

Leo Munro
LiveScore
Declan Rice is West Ham's new club captain following Mark Noble's retirement
Declan Rice is West Ham's new club captain following Mark Noble's retirement

David Moyes has transformed West Ham's fortunes — and the Irons will be targeting European qualification once again this season. 

The Scottish tactician led his side to sixth place in 2020-21, before securing Europa Conference League qualification last term. 

Another top-seven finish would represent a successful campaign at the London Stadium, though the Hammers will harbour hopes of challenging for a Champions League berth. 

That feels unlikely but not impossible if their squad can stay free of major injuries throughout 2022-23.

Last season: Seventh

West Ham enjoyed an impressive start to last season — winning seven of their first 11 league matches, including victories against Tottenham and Liverpool. 

The Irons were sitting in fourth spot after 16 rounds of action, before four defeats in their next seven fixtures brought the East Londoners back down to earth. 

Their run to the Europa League semi-finals began to impact the team's league form in the second half of the campaign, with just 11 points gained from 11 games in March, April and May. 

That saw West Ham finish in seventh spot, just two points behind Manchester United in sixth.

New faces

Nayef Aguerd was a dominant force in the air for Rennes in Ligue 1 last season
Nayef Aguerd was a dominant force in the air for Rennes in Ligue 1 last season

The Hammers have significantly strengthened the spine of their team this summer with a number of high-quality recruits. 

Back-up goalkeeper Alphonse Areola has made his loan move from Paris Saint-Germain permanent for £7.75million, while Moroccan international centre-back Nayef Aguerd joined for £30m from Rennes in June. 

Frustratingly, his Premier League debut will be delayed after he suffered an ankle injury during a pre-season friendly with Rangers, which required surgery.

Swansea sensation Flynn Downes will add depth in midfield after agreeing a £12m transfer to East London, to help fill the void following captain Mark Noble's retirement. 

The most exciting addition though is that of Italian striker Gianluca Scamacca, 23, a £30.5m capture from Sassuolo.  

Michail Antonio finally has some much needed support, having been the club's only forward for 18 months, following Sebastien Haller's departure for Ajax in January 2021.

Already dubbed the 'Italian Ibrahimovic' due to his 6ft 5in frame, Scamacca is not simply a strong physical presence, he often brings the ball under control rather than simply flicking it on, allowing time for his team-mates to join the attack. 

It also gives him that extra second to weigh up a shot on goal, something he demonstrated spectacularly against AC Milan last season. 

At just 16 he moved from Roma to PSV, where he trained under striker coach Ruud van Nistelrooy before moving back to Italy with Sassuolo in 2017. 

After several loan spells he enjoyed his breakout season in Serie A last term. scoring 16 times in 36 appearances. 

The line-up

4-2-3-1: Fabianski; Coufal, Zouma, Aguerd, Cresswell; Soucek, Rice; Bowen, Lanzini, Fornals; Scamacca. 

West Ham's backline will be largely unchanged from last season, with Lukasz Fabianski, Vladimir Coufal and Kurt Zouma set to be joined by new addition Aguerd, once he's recovered from injury. 

Tomas Soucek and Declan Rice will sit deep, while attacking midfielders Jarrod Bowen, Pablo Fornals and Manuel Lanzini add creativity to Moyes' outfit. 

There will be a battle for the central striking spot, as recent recruit Scamacca fights it out with Michail Antonio for starts.

Star man: Jarrod Bowen

Jarrod Bowen netted 12 Premier League goals in an impressive campaign for West Ham
Jarrod Bowen netted 12 Premier League goals in an impressive campaign for West Ham

Rice may be West Ham's most sought-after star — but it was Bowen who consistently found the net for West Ham last season. 

Twelve goals and 10 assists represented the 25-year-old forward's best top-flight return to date, while he amassed a total of 29 goal contributions across all competitions. 

Bowen's sensational form earned him international recognition with four England caps in 2022, and title-challengers Liverpool are reportedly monitoring his progress. 

The Hammers' No20 will be targeting another eye-catching campaign, in order to secure a place on the plane to this winter's World Cup.

Up-and-comer: Harrison Ashby

West Ham's academy has produced plenty of big names in the past, from Bobby Moore to Rio Ferdinand and Frank Lampard. 

And their next crop of youngsters look to have plenty of talent, with right-back Harrison Ashby generating the most excitement.

The 20-year-old Scotland Under-21s international made three appearances in all competitions last term — and looked particularly impressive when starting against Tottenham in the Carabao Cup quarter-final. 

A physical defender with technical skills to match, Ashby is likely to be handed more minutes in the months ahead, with the Irons fighting on four fronts in 2022-23.

The boss: David Moyes

West Ham have been impressive under David Moyes' management
West Ham have been impressive under David Moyes' management

Moyes' managerial career has been a rollercoaster ride. 

The 59-year-old rose to prominence with Preston, where he won the Divison Two title before achieving a play-off place in the second tier the following season. 

A move to Everton followed, where the Glasgow native was held in high esteem throughout his 11 years at Goodison Park — finishing in the top seven on eight occasions and reaching the FA Cup final in 2008-09. 

But things took a turn for the worse during ill-fated spells with Manchester United, Real Sociedad and Sunderland, before the veteran coach repaired his reputation at the London Stadium. 

Having kept West Ham in the Premier League and then led them into Europe twice, Moyes has certainly reminded everyone of his qualities with the Irons.

All information correct as of 10am, August 2, 2022

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Premier LeagueWest Ham United
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