West Ham have brought in seven new players so far this summer, among them marquee arrivals such as Gianluca Scamacca and Nayef Aguerd, while on Friday the Irons reached an agreement in principle that could see Lyon midfielder Lucas Paqueta become the most expensive signing in the club’s history.
However, there have also been cut-price deals for the likes of Thilo Kehrer, who had just a year left on his Paris Saint-Germain contract, and Maxwel Cornet, whose release clause was activated following Burnley’s relegation, while Flynn Downes’ arrival from Swansea continues Moyes’ career-long habit of dipping into the lower leagues.
Paqueta’s addition would see the Hammers’ total summer spend soar well beyond £150million, a clear statement of intent as Moyes looks to build a squad capable of challenging the Premier League’s elite and establishing a regular European presence.
However, the Scot believes West Ham’s future is being built on more than big spending, with his squad littered with shrewd acquisitions, such as Jarrod Bowen, who has gone from the Championship to England international since arriving at the London Stadium.
“We don’t want money to be the key thing that makes you a great football club - I don’t want that anyway,” Moyes said. “I want there to be good coaching, great youth development and good recruitment, and that players can come up from different levels - that you can come up from the lower leagues and eventually develop into an international player.
“I think that’s something which we do and I think we’ve got a good academy as well. Also, we’re not always shopping in Harrods, we have to shop sometimes in Aldi.
“While we are building the club, we will always be looking to buy players at different levels. We’re trying to challenge the big boys and we know that to do that we need to get some top players.
“The only way is to get good players who make your team better and whether that is an expensive signing or a cheap one, you have to have players who add value to what you have already got.”
Moyes has been cautious in easing his new signings into his Premier League XI, with Kehrer the only summer arrival to have started a League game so far, thrust into action sooner than ideal in the midst of a defensive injury crisis.
The Irons boss feels that players arriving from overseas, in particular, must be given time to adapt, but says West Ham have had little choice but to look abroad given the extortionate market for homegrown talent.
“You could talk about so many players who’ve come in from overseas and might not fit in straightaway,” Moyes added. “That’s why you might try and buy British if you can but that’s been really difficult this summer because of the prices.
“Quite often, even though we are spending a lot having to go abroad, I don’t think we could have bought England’s main centre-forward. We bought Italy’s main centre-forward, maybe, but we couldn’t have afforded England’s. You’re trying to find the balance of where you can find good players at the right price.”