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Valencia and Strinic swoops give Hammers squad strength in depth

| 17.07.2014

West Ham United, 6/1 with Coral to be relegated, have confirmed the signing of Ecuador’s star World Cup forward Enner Valencia, subject to obtaining a work permit, and are reportedly close to adding Croatia left back Ivan Strinic to their captures.

Attacking player Valencia, 24, has join Sam Allardyce’s Upton Park outfit for a reported £12m on a five-year contract. Ukrainian outfit Dnipro, meanwhile, are anxious to avoid losing defender Strinic for nothing next summer, as he is in the final year of his deal.

Strinic, 26, missed the Brazil finals through injury, which resulted in a return to the international fold for Danijel Pranjic. Niko Kovac also gave Genoa full back Sime Vrsaljko a chance to impress, although Croatia crashed out in the group stage.

Big Sam has got a versatile forward player in Valencia, who can supplement England target man Andy Carroll nicely. Capable of operating alongside him up front or out wide, Valencia will pose a threat. Three goals for his country at the World Cup were compelling evidence of his abilities.

Reports also claim the Hammers are targeting yet another left back in Boca Juniors’ highly-rated Argentine Emanuel Insua, with a formal £4m offer put on the table. Both he and Strinic would provide healthy competition for recent arrival Aaron Cresswell on that flank of defence.

Clearly, the injury crisis endured by West Ham last Christmas is something they are desperate to avoid a repeat of. Recruitment has stepped up since then with Allardyce eager to give himself options. He has already done this in midfield by adding Diego Poyet, son of Sunderland boss Gus, and Cheikhou Kouyate to his abundant options in that area.

It is a similar story in attack, with Valencia now joining Mauro Zarate and big strikers Carroll and Carlton Cole. Moreover, Big Sam has been set a clear target by the Hammers board of achieving a top 10 finish. The club is 5/2 to achieve this.



Jamie Clark

Athletics aficionado, die-hard snooker fan and Crystal Palace supporter Jamie has written for Coral since February 2014 after spells with Soccerlens and the Press Association as a digital journalist and copywriter. A former East Midlands sports correspondent and Bwin tipster, he is a graduate of both the University of York and University of Sheffield, with a Masters in web journalism from the latter.