Football

Mass exodus is Hammer blow for Big Sam

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Although West Ham have yet to sell any of their star turns this summer, the price of relegation for the east London club is already evident, with 12 first-team players having left Upton Park.

The likes of Demba Ba and Thomas Hitzlsperger activated release clauses in their contracts, while Manuel Da Costa and Radoslav Kovac have been sold, to leave Hammers boss Sam Allardyce with a depleted squad.

Big Sam has already added Abdoulaye Faye and Kevin Nolan to his ranks, but says he will need another eight players to create a side capable of winning the Npower Championship.

"The reality is that there are 11 first-team squad players who have left since the season ended - 12 if you include Benni McCarthy," Allardyce told the Evening Standard.

"The others are Kieron Dyer, Demba Ba, Robbie Keane, Radoslav Kovac, Thomas Hitzlsperger, Manuel da Costa, Wayne Bridge, Danny Gabbidon, Matthew Upson, Jonathan Spector and Lars Jacobsen - more than 50 per cent of last season's squad.

"The only players gone for fees so far, though, have been Da Costa and Kovac. The rest were on loan or out of contract.

"That has helped the financial fall-out of being relegated but now, unless there are four or five of the young players ready to come in, we probably need to sign eight from outside."


 

The Hammers leave for a pre-season training camp in Switzerland this weekend, with Scott Parker, Robert Green and Carlton Cole still among their number.

But Allardyce is realistic over the West Ham futures of his star trio, and realises they may have to be sold before the end of the transfer window in August - although they will only leave for the right price.

"The three of them will all probably all want to go to clubs in the Premier League if they can," added the former Blackburn manager.

"We will just have to see how things develop. In my experience people will think there will be a fire-sale but the owners [David Sullivan and David Gold] have told me that will not be the case - that they want the true value for every player if they are going to sell him."

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Topics:
Football
Championship
West Ham United

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