If West Ham are serious about becoming a genuine force in English football they need to sell their below-par fringe players and replace them with ones that can provide healthy competition to the first team.
Much has been made of the current strength-in-depth in Sam Allardyce’s side but for them to truly push on and challenge for European places they need quality throughout the squad to constantly challenge each other.
With five key players absent from the defeat against Everton at the weekend, Kevin Nolan and Carlton Cole started with Matt Jarvis and Ricardo Vaz Te coming off of the bench. These players simply aren’t good enough and if it wasn’t for injuries they would struggle to get a game at the club.
Nolan has been a great servant to the Hammers during his three-year spell and there is no doubt that his leadership qualities have been vital in the dressing room. He has also contributed with his fair share of goals – 29 in 118 appearances isn’t bad going at all for a midfielder.
However, at 32, his overall input during matches is not enough for him to warrant a place in the starting XI. He had a good game against Everton, but he is no longer Premier League standard in my opinion and West Ham would be better off replacing him with someone that has potential to break into the side.
The same could be said about Cole, who has provided the Irons with loyal service over the years and often delivered the goods when called upon. But, unfortunately the 31-year-old’s ability to hold up the ball and be a physical threat is diminishing each season and it is now time for him to move on with the east London outfit already boasting four striker of great quality.
Not good enough
Jarvis was expected to be a revelation when he signed from Wolves in 2012 after enjoying a brilliant Premier League season. But the £10million man never managed to recapture the form that tempted Allardyce to fork out all that money and two years on they would be better off trying to recoup some of it.
The 28-year-old has struggled with injuries and seemingly has no place in the starting lineup, he had little impact coming off of the bench against Everton on Saturday, too, which suggests the Hammers may now be ready to cut their losses.
Vaz Te is another who hasn’t been able to make an impact, particularly since the club regained their Premier League status. It would appear that the English top flight is a step too far for the 28-year-old and he'd be better off moving to a side where he will get game time.
Free up funds
With Financial Fair Play in place West Ham need to sell if they want to buy in January. The sales of these players will not only generate funds for Allardyce to add more quality to his squad, but their wage packets will also help in luring his targets.
It may be hard for the Hammers to part ways with the club veterans that helped them regain their top flight status, but in order for them to take the next positive step ahead of their big Olympic Stadium move, it is vital.