West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce has spoken of the need to scout abroad rather than taking a look at Football League prospects.
The Hammers boss feels that there is not enough talent in England's lower-tiers capable of making the step-up, meaning that improving their knowledge of foreign countries has been imperative.
"Today we’re not thinking that we have enough players in the lower leagues able to make the step up, so we end up scooting off abroad,” Allardyce admitted to the Telegraph.
West Ham had great success by bringing in players who were plying their trade abroad - with the transfers of Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia the most eye-catching.
However, the buy of Aaron Cresswell from Ipswich Town has been just as impressive of any other player they managed to sign during the previous transfer window.
The left-back's brilliant form may make Allardyce have to reconsider his opinion on the Football League and, in this piece, we take a look at three players West Ham could target in January who have the potential to emulate Cresswell's brilliant start to life at the top-level.
Lewis Dunk (Brighton and Hove Albion)
West Ham may be on the look out for a new centre-back, because of the uncertainty surrounding Winston Reid's future.
The New Zealand international is yet to sign a new contract at the Boleyn Ground and it seems that he could be set to depart the London club.
It means that a new defender could be on Allardyce's wishlist and Dunk looks more prepared the most for the step-up.
The Seagulls centre-back has been in brilliant form this season and, at the age of 23, he still has plenty of time to progress.
Kevin McDonald (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
The central midfielder was the club's player of the season last year and he has continued to impress at a higher level this season.
The Championship's most frequent passer, McDonald has the ability to dictate play and would fit in with the Hammers new-found aesthetically pleasing style of play.
He looks capable of fitting in at a higher level and a move to Upton Park could turn out to be a very astute one.
Will Hughes (Derby County)
Hughes is tipped to become of the most exciting talents that England has produced in some time, after impressing in the second-tier for some time.
He possesses a great amount of experience for someone of such tender years and, if he fulfils his potential, is sure to become a regular international for the Three Lions.
A skilful dribbler and a technically astute midfielder, Hughes looks perfectly suited to top-level football and will make the step up sooner rather than later.