David Moyes’ arrival at West Ham has seen them make a slightly better fist of the relegation battle than they were doing under Manuel Pellegrini, and Moyes’ shift to a 4-4-2 has helped in that regard. However, the Hammers are still in 16th place, and are only out of the relegation zone on goal difference, being level on 27 points with Watford and Bournemouth below them. They remain squarely in the relegation battle, and if they do survive and manage to stay in the Premier League, there is a complete list of two players who are likely to see their tenures at the London Stadium come to an end in the summer – Manuel Lanzini and Marko Arnautovic.
Lanzini was a Moyes favourite during his first spell at the club; however, in the intervening period, the Argentinian playmaker has regressed, with a major knee injury also playing its part. Moyes praised Lanzini as recently as January, with the manager calling him the club’s ‘flair’ player, but he has struggled to get into the side. Pablo Fornals, who has himself endured a difficult time since his move from Villarreal in the summer, had established himself in Moyes’ first-choice team in midfield before the Premier League was suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and it will be difficult for Lanzini to win his place back. The Argentinian has only made two assists in the league this season from 19 appearances, with no goals either, and with Jarrod Bowen having been signed in January, there is no place on the flanks either for the diminutive playmaker. He did sign a bumper new contract last year, which ties him to West Ham till 2023, so the club may find it difficult to move him on in the summer.
However, that may not be the case with Andriy Yarmolenko. The 30-year-old was signed in 2018 from Borussia Dortmund as Pellegrini’s marquee signing, meant to propel the Hammers to the Champions League in their shiny new stadium. Things have not quite worked out that way, though, and his future at the London Stadium looks quite bleak now.
As with Lanzini, injuries have played their part in stymying his progress. The Ukrainian ruptured his Achilles tendon last season which saw him miss most of the campaign, and has only made nine starts in the league this season due to muscular injuries. Again, Jarrod Bowen’s arrival seems to have blocked his path into the team, with Moyes also preferring Michail Antonio on the wing. Yarmolenko has Champions League pedigree, having played in the competition for both Dortmund and Dynamo Kiev, but has not been able to translate that into his form for the Hammers. Given his age, and the fact that Bowen, at 23 years old, is definitely part of the future for West Ham, it is unlikely that he will remain at the club beyond the summer.
David Moyes has a big task on his hands at West Ham, for not only does he need to stave off relegation, he also needs to clear some deadwood from the playing squad. Lanzini and Arnautovic will be at the head of any such list, and while the Argentinian’s age and his recent new contract may help to keep him around for another season, it is probably going to be curtains for Yarmolenko in London.