West Ham embarked on the biggest transfer window of spending in the club’s history in the summer in a major show of faith in manager David Moyes after successive top-seven Premier League finishes and last year’s run to the Europa League semi-finals.
The club-record arrival of Lucas Paqueta from Lyon was the headline in a £175million spree that saw eight new players signed in all, with only Issa Diop’s sale to Fulham offsetting that spend.
As a result, it is difficult to see the Irons getting the chequebook out again this month despite a poor first half of their League campaign, which saw Moyes’ side go into the World Cup break just a point clear of the relegation zone.
Moyes’ No1 priority will be getting the best out of his summer purchases: Maxwel Cornet, Nayef Aguerd and Paqueta have all had their first seasons at the London Stadium interrupted by injury, while Gianluca Scamacca’s form dipped markedly after a bright start.
Central midfield. West Ham tried to sign Kalvin Phillips from Leeds this time last year and again looked for central midfield upgrades in the summer, without real success.
Flynn Downes arrived from Championship side Swansea but he was effectively a replacement for Mark Noble and Moyes is still short on depth and competition, particularly with Tomas Soucek struggling for form.
A showpiece addition will be needed should Declan Rice leave in the summer but that seems unlikely to happen in this window.
What else they need
The Hammers failed with a late move for Torino’s Ola Aina in the summer and full-back cover is still needed, with Vladimir Coufal out of form, Aaron Cresswell ageing and Ben Johnson seemingly injury prone. A more permanent upgrade on Cresswell at left-back will be needed before long.
Elsewhere, the Hammers are well-stocked numerically but struggled for goals in the first half of the season and could perhaps use a versatile forward option capable of playing across the front line. Injuries and possible departures could mean yet another centre-back addition is required.
West Ham could revive their interest in Aina, though Leeds and Crystal Palace have also been linked.
A loan move for Aaron Wan-Bissaka was touted in the summer and, given his lack of playing time at Manchester United, the full-back may be available this month.
Sao Paolo defender Luizao has agreed to join on a free transfer, but is not considered a first-team signing at this point.
It seems likely the Hammers will seek to be opportunistic in the loan market given their hefty summer outlay.
Manuel Lanzini has not started a Premier League game since the opening day of the season and appears surplus to requirements.
Harrison Ashby is out of contract at the end of the season and has been linked with Newcastle since the summer. He could go in a cut-price deal.
With Moyes set to field strong sides when the Europa Conference League knockouts come around, the likes of Conor Coventry, who featured in the group stage, could leave on loan to get regular football.
Craig Dawson was denied a move to Wolves to be closer to his family in the summer as the Hammers failed to sign a replacement, but has just six months to run on his contract now.