Now that West Ham United have confirmed that Sam Allardyce will be the manager for another season, it is time to consider what he must do in order to improve the squad for their penultimate year at Upton Park.
Big Sam’s previous transfer dealings at the East London club haven’t always been so successful and his spending has been somewhat unpredictable, particularly in the case of last summer’s big-money signing Andy Carroll.
The former Newcastle United striker played only 14 games last season, scoring a measly two goals, and West Ham fans will be hoping that this is going to improve with the recruitment of a new coach for the attacking department.
Periods of extensive injuries to players have often led to Allardyce making loan signings who are far below average. In order to avoid this, the 59-year-old should be aiming to sign at least five new players. He should seek to avoid a potentially vulnerable defence by recruiting a replacement, if not two, at left-back for George McCartney together with at least one central defender.
West Ham have been linked with a number of centre-backs including Martin Olsson of the newly relegated Norwich City, Neil Taylor of Swansea City and Manchester City’s England international Joleon Lescott.
Moving further up the pitch, it would appear as though the Hammers should be looking for a replacement for attacking midfielder Mohamed Diame, who after only two seasons in East London is reportedly being lined up for a move to Everton, Liverpool or Newcastle.
This shouldn't prove to be such a problem with the apparent return of Ravel Morrison after the talented midfielder quashed rumours on Twitter of a bust-up with Big Sam.
Finally, Allardyce should recruit two more strikers. West Ham are hugely lacking in the goal department and should be looking for quality players.
This summer’s transfer period is a hugely important one for Big Sam, who has a lot to prove to many fans who are still yet to warm to him. It is up to the manager to gain the trust of the West Ham faithful and reassure them that the direction of the club is up.