AFTER the disappointment of last summer’s transfer window dealings West Ham United are making up for lost time.
Pablo Zabaleta was first to sign for Slaven Bilic’s side, joining on a free transfer after winning two Premier League titles with Manchester City.
Then, earlier this week, Joe Hart followed the Argentine to the London Stadium, signing on a season-long loan from City.
And Bilic is not done yet. Stoke winger Marko Arnautovic is set to undergo a medical ahead of a £24m move while Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere and Bayer Leverkusen striker Chicharito are West Ham transfer targets.
We’ve asked our friends at Football Whispers to look at how the Hammers could line up next season.
Goalkeeper: Joe Hart
England’s No.1 arrived at the London Stadium this week, penning a season-long loan deal after returning to Manchester City, briefly, following a stint in Italy with Torino.
The 30-year-old is not in Pep Guardiola’s plans at the Etihad Stadium with the Catalan coach splashing £34.5m to sign Benfica’s Ederson Moraes earlier in the summer.
West Ham are paying £2.5m of Hart’s £4.5m per year wages and the two-time Premier League winner will replace Darren Randolph and Adrian as the Hammers’ first-choice stopper.
Right-back: Pablo Zabaleta
Hart will have at least one familiar face in east London next season after following Zabaleta south.
The Argentine defender, 32, arrives at the London Stadium after nine glittering seasons at Manchester City where he won two Premier Leagues, the FA Cup and two League Cups.
Zabaleta, who has 58 caps for Los Albiceleste, will solve something of a problem position at right-back where Sam Byram struggled for form last season.
Centre-back: Winston Reid
A Tottenham transfer target once upon a time, Reid was not at his imperious best last season but remains an extremely reliable option at centre-half.
January addition Jose Fonte struggled to bring his Southampton form to the London Stadium and looks set to play a back-up role next season with Reid, 29, the defensive lynchpin in Bilic’s side.
Centre-back: Angelo Ogbonna
Ahead of Fonte for the other centre-half slot is Italian international Ogbonna, who signed a new contract until 2022 this summer.
In January the 29-year-old was ruled out for the rest of the campaign after Bilic revealed he would have to undergo knee surgery.
But the former Serie A winner returned to play in the final-day win at Burnley and will partner Reid next season at the heart of the Hammers’ defence.
Left-back: Aaron Cresswell
The 2016/17 campaign finally saw Cresswell recognised for his consistent performances since switching from Championship side Ipswich Town in 2014.
Called into Gareth Southgate’s England squad for a World Cup qualifier against Scotland and a friendly with Spain at the end of 2016, he made his Three Lions bow against La Roja before winning a second cap against France this year.
Arthur Masuaku is Cresswell’s rival for the No.3 shirt but the former Olympiacos man was shaky – at best – last season.
Holding midfield: Mark Noble
Mr West Ham, Noble was another whose form suffered with the team’s last season and, in March, sections of the Hammers’ support called for him to be dropped.
But the 30-year-old ploughed on and finished the campaign having made 400 appearances for the club – the 19th player to do so – and scoring five goals in 35 games for the season.
A model of consistency at the base of the Hammers’ midfield, Noble is going into his 14th season in the first team.
Holding midfield: Jack Wilshere
Back at Arsenal after spending last season on loan at Bournemouth, it is unclear where Wilshere sits in Arsene Wenger’s plans this summer.
The Gunners certainly didn’t miss the England international who has also been linked with a move to Serie A side Sampdoria.
But West Ham are keen too and staying in the capital would be an attractive proposition for Wilshere,who would take the place of Cheikhou Kouyate if he joined.
Right-wing: Michail Antonio
One of the few bright spots in an otherwise disappointing season for the Hammers was the form of Antonio.
The versatile winger ended the campaign on the treatment table thanks to a “significant injury” but after top scoring with nine goals he will be brought straight back into the side.
His form was recognised by England boss Southgate – who included him for the friendly against Germany in March – only for injury to force the former Dulwich Hamlet man to withdraw from the squad.
Attacking midfield: Manuel Lanzini
The player who benefitted most from Dimitri Payet’s mid-season strop and subsequent return to Marseille was Argentine playmaker Lanzini.
Often farmed out wide while the Frenchman was with the Hammers, Lanzini moved into the No.10 role and thrived, ending the season with eight goals and two assists – as well as earning his first two caps for Argentina.
Lanzini will go into the new season as one of West Ham’s most potent attacking threats and the onus will be on the former River Plate and Al-Jazira man to provide the ammunition for the striker ahead of him.
Left-wing: Marko Arnautovic
The Stoke City winger looks set to become the Hammers’ newest recruit with a £24m fee already agreed. Arnautovic will undergo a medical today ahead of the move.
Arnautovic, 28, scored seven times in 35 matches in all competitions last season but made it clear earlier this summer he wanted to leave the Bet365 Stadium and handed in a transfer request.
The Austrian international looks set to take the place of Robert Snodgrass at the London Stadium with the Scottish winger short of form following a January move from Hull City.
Striker: Javier Hernandez
Best known for his time at Manchester United, the Little Pea has been prolific in Germany for Bayer Leverkusen, netting 28 Bundesliga goals in two seasons.
The 29-year-old, who left Old Trafford under Louis van Gaal in 2015, was in action at this summer’s Confederations Cup with Mexico where he scored twice as his country lost the third-place play-off to Portugal.
Hernandez’s arrival should see Bilic solve the long-term issue of having to rely on Andy Carroll despite his well-documented injury problems.