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West Ham United have once again struggled to get off the blocks early in the ongoing Premier League season and find themselves languishing at 15th place in the table, after 7 matches.
Slaven Bilic’s side have been inconsistent and have looked disjointed at times in the current campaign and the manager finds himself under pressure to turn things around soon. The club did some decent business in the summer transfer window, landing Premier League proven players in the form of Javier Hernandez, Marko Arnautovic, Pablo Zabaleta and Joe Hart. But it wouldn’t be lost on the manager that more reinforcements are needed in the winter transfer window if they are to find themselves anywhere near the top half of the table, come the end of the season.
Given how difficult it is to sign world-class talents in the January window, due to the reluctance of clubs to let go of their star players midway through the season, here we look at three young starlets with great potential, that could help the Hammers if signed in the upcoming transfer window.
The highly-rated 20-year old Brazilian winger burst on to the scenes back in 2015 with homeland club Corinthians, when he scored 5 goals in 29 games as his club went on to win the title under now Brazil manager Tite.
French side Bordeaux snapped him up in January 2016 and Malcom has continued to produce good numbers season after season. Last term, the Brazilian managed 9 goals and 7 assists in 45 games across all competitions and has already netted 4 goals and 5 assists in 10 appearances in the ongoing season.
Blessed with a tremendous amount of pace and good dribbling ability, Malcom has been used in the wide areas, where he can utilise his abilities to the fullest and stretch the opposition defences. The 20-year old can also operate through the middle if needed and has shown a keen eye for goals in his fledgling career. With Michail Antonio’s injury woes, and the misfiring nature of Andre Ayew, adding another source of goals would be a smart move for the Hammers.
The 20-year old centre-back is creating waves with his impressive displays for Garry Monk’s side in the EFL Championship this season and has established himself as a key member of the team in his first full season.
Fry has featured in 11 games for the Teessiders in all competitions this season and has registered one assist so far. A defender who likes to build play from the back, Fry, in 810 minutes of Championship football, has attempted 462 passes at a success-rate of 81.4%, completing 51.3 passes per 90 mins. He has made 64 clearances, 10 tackles and 9 interceptions and has won 20 of his 44 attempted aerial duels.
Fry isn’t the most polished of defenders, but has shown all the right signs so far and given the ageing backline at the London Olympic Stadium, investing in a promising young centre-half wouldn’t be the worst thing for West Ham.
An unknown quantity for people who aren’t well-acquainted with the American Major League Soccer, Cyle Larin has established himself as one of the hottest young prospects in the MLS and could be a shrewd buy for West Ham.
The 22-year old enjoyed a brilliant 2017 season for Orlando City, finishing with 12 goals and 3 assists in 28 games and has become the leading goal-scorer for the club, with 44 strikes in 89 games, possessing a goal-scoring rate of almost a goal every other game.
Larin is a tall, strong and imposing presence at the top of the attack, who can brush aside the opponents with his strength and power. He can hold up the play really well and bring his teammates into the game, and is quite a force in the air as well, making for a great target from set-piece situations. A clinical finisher, with both his feet and his head, Larin exudes great composure in front of goal, despite his young age. Given Chicharito and Andy Carroll’s lean patch, a new forward would be a good buy for West Ham.