ExWHUEmployee Exclusive Column: Juventus to open New Stadium, Lacazette keen on Hammers, Sakho back in frame
Author: ExWHUEmployee. Published: 28 April 2016 at 8:45am
So it has been announced we will play Juventus in the opening game of the season. This is a great tie for us to open the stadium with. As someone who has Italian blood I have always had a soft spot for Italian football. When I grew up it was on channel four and I used to watch it religiously. Whilst I would say AC Milan are my Italian team, it is still very exciting to see another Italian great. It is no secret that Barcelona, Madrid and Munich were all contacted but Juventus were the most enthusiastic and I cannot wait to see this fixture.
There has been a lot of grumblings over the price of this fixture. The price however includes the
opening ceremony and again this is set to be pretty spectacular. There is a real determination from the club to go out of The Boleyn in style but yet enter a new era at the Olympic Stadium spectacularly.
The Manchester United game is so close now and I cannot really believe it. I am going to miss the stadium so much. I was lucky in my youth that I regularly got to go to games and then go on the pitch after matches and that excitement I had as a kid doing this is very hard to replace. The ground holds such special memories for us all. Sky have recognised this and are intending to do a whole day of hourly reports from the stadium on the last day hosted by Jim White (the notorious yellow tie wearing transfer deadline reporter), Tony Cottee and Tony Gale.
You will soon be able to buy your seat from the ground and I will certainly be buying mine plus enter
the auction for so many items that will go on sale and will give you a piece of football history. I get
sad thinking about our move but when you see the Olympic Stadium and the conversion that is going on you will see that it is the right move. The new stadium looks spectacular and all the facilities that it has will make the transition worthwhile.
The club really want to have top quality players to play in the stadium and already extensive work has gone in to finding us a new forward. We had already lodged a number of bids and it is clear that Lazacette and Batshuayi lead the way for the top targets.
The one problem we have is that with Euro 2016 in the summer both clubs may hope their players“star” in the tournament and therefore raise their transfer value.It is thought at this point that Lazacette has expressed a strong interest in moving here. We have also made very strong moves for an Argentinian forward (no it is not Tevez!) We have been linked with a number of big name “injury” prone players. The club is determined to not go down this route and they showed this stance by the fact that they closely monitored Lanzini’s recovery from injury before committing to buying him.Therefore the continuous linking of Oxlade-Chamberlain of Arsenal and even more ludicrously (given how many centre backs we have) Vermaelen of Barcelona are far fetched. These players do not represent value for money and we would not risk it on injured players.We have looked at a number of wingers too. These have been reported in our previous columns and we are exploring the options of an experienced right back. We have been looking at Europe and domestically and have identified a couple of targets here too.
It is good that Sakho is back playing with the squad and I actually thought him and Carroll were superb against Watford. Sakho was made to apologise to the whole of the squad on the training ground after the Arsenal“injury” and this was accepted by the team. Sakho has been having some off field difficulties and the club have taken this into consideration. I do not expect to see Alex Song playing for the club again however. He will leave in the summer with a number of clubs keen to sign him, although none of the stature of his parent club, Barcelona. Victor Moses will go but the club are determined to keep hold of Obiang. He has become a little frustrated by his lack of regular first team action and has spoken with Bilic about this. It is felt however that with Europe potentially on the horizon he would be perfect for those games. Valencia is another who we would consider an offer for,as I discussed in my column last week, there is interest from China, Italy and Spain for the player. A few fringe players will also leave in the summer; most notably Joey O’Brien, Elliot Lee, Jordan Brown, Mavilla and Nasha. Reece Burke finds himself in a tricky situation.It is clear at the moment with the four first team centre backs that we have and Reece Oxford also emerging that he has a tough battle to get to the first team. After winning Bradford’s player of the season this year he is now attracting interest from other clubs. We intend to loan him to a championship club and we would like that club to be Bradford (if they get promoted). Reece is a diehard West Ham fan and doesn’t want to leave but is evaluating his next move. The club hope he will go on loan for another year or so and then be fighting for a first team place here.We will continue to search for top young players to bring here.I was delighted to exclusively bring the news of the signing of Domingos Quina in the week from Chelsea and there are two more players that could be heading to the youth team before the end of the season. These are two very talented individuals. Speaking of talented youngster Samuelsen is back with us from his spell with Peterborough and hoping to make the bench in the forthcoming fixtures as well as leading us to victory in the cup final against Hull.
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