After a 7th place finish last season, Slaven Bilic has shown he can make the Hammers a side to reckon with in the EPL, and all eyes will be on them from the get-go when they face Chelsea in match day 1 of the 2016/17 season come Monday night.
A great thing for West Ham is that they have been able to keep hold of their core and integral members up till now, though there are still fears as to if last season club best player, Payet will remain for next season, but for now, it looks like he would.
There have been no noticeable exits, save for loanees like Victor Moses, Song and Emenike returning to their parent clubs. While wantaway striker Sakho is eyeing an exit.
In the arrival lounge, Lanzini has permanently been added to his ranks while Ghana international and last season EPL debutant at Swansea, Andre Ayew has been recently acquired for £20.5million.
For the new season, here is how West Ham are expected to be lined up as they attempt to upset the odds once again and stake a claim on one of the top spots.
The shot stopper was excellent for the Hammers last term, and he is set to continue his heroics in between the post when play resumes next season.
Michail Antonio. Angelo Ogbonna. Winston Reid. Cameron Borthwick-Jackson
The yet to be capped English winger was converted to a right back last season, and he performed excellently. Antonio has featured in that position for pre-season and will likely remain there for next term.
Ogbonna and Reid created a strong partnership in the centre of the defence the last time out despite playing together for the first time, and that should continue for a long while.
With the injury Cresswell sustained few weeks ago ruling him out for up to 3 months, in his stead, West Ham are looking to bring in Manchester United left full back, Borthwick-Jackson as backup and cover.
Cheikhou Kouyaté. Mark Noble.
In midfield, Noble’s great form of last season will be expected to get replicated when play resumes. Chances are that it does as the English midfielder still wants to force himself into the England lineup after missing out on the Euros 2016 squad.
The tough-tackling Kouyate will pair him in the midfield as he does the dirty work and break opposition’s attack.
Andrew Ayew. Dimitri Payet. Manuel Lanzini
The attacking midfield trio will definitely cause lots of problems to opposition defenses as from next Monday.
Ayew’s impacts last season made Swansea survive in the top flight and he will be expected to fit in perfectly at West Ham.
On the left will be Lanzini who saw his loan term made permanent after an impressive season.
If Payet remains, Bilic will hope the France international can rekindle his last season’s brilliant form, especially with the dead balls and help lead West Ham to a possible top 4 spot.
They sure can challenge the heavyweights with this team.
In contention to make a return to the England squad following his form in front of goal towards the end of last season, the former Liverpool striker can do much better this season if he stays fit. His pre-season form says he can.