COMMENT By Matt Farr
West Ham will likely be one of the more active of the Premier League contingent in the transfer window this summer, and they have already snapped up their first signing.
Slaven Bilic moved to bolster his back-line with the addition of experienced full-back Pablo Zabaleta, and the transfer is set to go through on July 1.
The acquisition of Zabaleta could be the start of a fantastic transfer window for the London club, following a disappointing season last term.
However, their hard work could be undone if Bilic allows midfielder Pedro Obiang to leave the club this summer.
The 25-year-old was one of the most consistent performers at the London Stadium last season, but there has been increasing interest from their Premier League rivals in recent weeks.
The Mirror reported on Saturday that Everton were considering a move for the Spaniard this summer, as they plan to offload James McCarthy in the coming months.
But it is also revealed that European giants AC Milan and Sevilla were also coveting the Hammers star, and even if they offer at least £15million for his services, West Ham would be daft to left him leave.
Even if it means dismissing a chance to make a considerable profit from his sale, having signed him for just over £5million in July 2015.
Obiang is defensively sound, and amid the inconsistent form of fellow central midfielders Mark Noble and Cheikhou Kouyate last season, Bilic should consider making him the anchor-point of his midfield engine.
The defence was one of the biggest concerns during West Ham’s ill-fated Premier League campaign in 2016-17, as they continued to ship goals no matter how Bilic altered his tactical line-up.
But Obiang will be key to ensuring West Ham improve next season, and he must be kept on board at all costs.
In other West Ham news, co-chairman David Gold has given fans cause for optimism over the club’s youth policy.