We are less than two weeks from the potential restart of the 2019-20 Premier League season. On Friday the club announced the dates for their first four matches. Then comes a truncated transfer window in Mikel Arteta’s first summer as the head coach.
So far in this series readers have voted for two attackers, a centerback, and most recently a steely center mid from Watford. Without meaning to we are beginning to fill out a starting XI and what would be some interesting options for Arteta to rebuild the Gunners with.
Fantasy Arsenal Series: Bournemouth | Norwich City | Aston Villa | Watford
Up next is 16th place West Ham, sitting on 27 points, but saved from the relegation zone by just three goals on the differential. It is still odd to see Jack Wilshere suiting up for the Hammers, but his time in North London has passed. And West Ham offer up many more attractive options for a summer transfer. Here’s a look at five ideas.
Position: Left Winger
Projected Value: $35 million.
Argument For: Left winger need.... Auba/Martinelli aren’t wingers....Saka was played out of position & needs a senior contract...You’ve heard it before. So it’s no surprise that Felipe Anderson is in our top five. One goal and six assists he is an attacker that likes to move the ball forward and take on defenders - something the Gunners need more of. This season so far he leads West Ham in passes into the penalty area, shot creating actions and goal creating actions. There are a lot of left wing options out there for Arsenal to add, but how many of those are already settled into the style and speed of play in the Premier League? Felipe wouldn’t be the cheapest option, but like a few others below, he would improve the squad immediately.
Projected Value: $31 million.
Argument For: We’ve already covered the transfer rumor links to Diop back in March. Still just 23, he has plenty of top flight experience and could eventually break into the French senior national team - along with William Saliba. This season he has already scored three goals (tied for 5th for West Ham), led the team in clearances and was their best defender in aerial duels. If the club could move Luiz, Sokratis or Mustafi, Diop might be a great option to help start at the beginning of next season with Holding and one of those three, while Saliba acclimates to game England.
Position: Attacking Midfielder
Projected Value: $18 million.
Argument For: The cheapest of our five options this time, and still a sizable amount. After two seasons in La Liga, Fornals joined West Ham and has become one of their best producers. With four goals and six assists, he had their best G+A per 90, and was second in the team in shots on target. At 24, he would help fill the Ozil-sized-hole that is coming soon for the Gunners. His stats around progressing the ball and creating opportunities for teammates left a bit to be desired this season (despite the six assists), but perhaps playing under Arteta and with more clinical players around him that element of his game could catch up to his individual production.
Projected Value: $40 million.
Argument For: After two solid seasons for Eintracht Frankfurt, Haller began his Premier League career with seven goals so far this year. He led the club in goals in what was a very disjointed year for West Ham. Their best striker option and only 25, he fits the target profile with both Aubameyang and Lacazette’s future at the Emirates in doubt. However, at potentially $40m, is that the best use of limited funds with Martinelli and Nketiah waiting for more playing time?
Position: Defensive Midfielder
Projected Value: $54 million.
Argument For: Rice won’t be at West Ham much longer, but his price tag probably puts him out of Arsenal’s range at the moment. Their most valuable player, the 21-year-old midfielder already has 100 Premier League appearances and seven caps for England. He led the club in completed passes, tackles won, passing accuracy, and passes into the final third of the pitch. It’s hard to make an argument that any of Arsenal’s center midfielders would be a better starter than Declan at this point - and likely still has a much higher ceiling. Would Rice be a good addition? Of course. But would he be worth the money if Arsenal could sell the requisite players to fund the move?
Which West Ham player would you pick?
This poll is closed
West Ham ended up having several interesting options - even if they were a bit more expensive than they each may be worth. So considering what Arsenal need the most and how much the players might cost, which choice would you pick? Or is there another player on West Ham you’d sign instead?