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West Ham built for Euro adventure but there is still a striking gap


D

avid Moyes set out this summer wanting to build a squad capable of surviving the rigours of a Europa League campaign, and the Scot looks to have done just that.

Each of West Ham’s first-team signings has experience either of the Champions League or Europa League while defender Kurt Zouma was crowned champion of Europe with Chelsea last season — not a bad starting point to inspire his new side this term.

The Frenchman is a big upgrade on Craig Dawson, West Ham’s soft spot this season, while Croatia international Nikola Vlasic and the Czech Republic’s Alex Kral bring much-needed depth and competition in midfield.

The arrival of Alphonse Areola will keep Lukasz Fabianksi, who last season was unchallenged as No1 and suffered injury problems, on his toes.

The one glaring hole is behind Michail Antonio. The famously fragile centre-forward has no cover should there be more injury problems this summer and Moyes’s conviction that he can used Jarrod Bowen through the middle will certainly be put to the test at some stage this season.

Ins and outs

Alphonse Areola (PSG, loan)

Kurt Zouma (Chelsea, £29.8m)

Nikola Vlasic (CSKA Moscow, £25.7m)

Alex Kral (Spartak Moscow, loan with an option)

Felipe Anderson (Lazio, £4m)

Fabian Balbuena (Released)

Xande Silva (Nottingham Forest, £200k)


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