By Noel Whelan

12th Sep, 2020 | 10:00pm

Exclusive: Whelan makes shock West Ham prediction despite unpopular exit

Noel Whelan has tipped West Ham not to struggle this season despite the atmosphere of discontent around the club.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Coventry City forward believes the Hammers have enough of the right characters to avoid the drop this season.

West Ham’s £12million sale of Grady Diangana caused massive upset among Hammers fans and club captain Mark Noble admitted he was “gutted, angry and sad” about the decision.

This site revealed in August that Diangana was sold in order to raise funds for new acquisitions but West Ham have not yet signed anybody this window.

It now transpires that Burnley centre back James Tarkowski after Football Insider revealed that West Ham have had a £28million bid rejected for the England international.

Burnley have slapped a £35million price tag on the 27-year-old who Leicester City are also interested in.

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Asked by Football Insider whether he expects West Ham to struggle this season, Whelan said: “I actually don’t think they will.

“I think David Moyes is the right man in charge. I think he’s made some good acquisitions, ones who have mentally strong characters and that’s vitally important because it’s been missing from West Ham for a long time now.

“They’ve never been a team that were frail until what I saw the last couple of seasons.

“They’ve always been tough, they’ve always been hard to break down, they’ve always had the right characters in the changing room, those ones that drive you on.

“Now they’re starting to fill that changing room with the right characters and personnel again.

“As much as people are tipping them to go down, I don’t think they will.”

In other West Ham news, Football Insider can REVEAL Chelsea are set to offer a £30million-valued star in a huge new Declan Rice part-exchange bid.