The 22/23 season was both one to forget and one to remember for the ages for West Ham fans, from Moyes Out banners, fighting relegation to claiming victory in the European Conference League. It was a season full of ups and downs for West Ham, but one that ended on a significant high. However, the obvious departure of Rice towards the end of the season loomed large over the London club and how they would adapt going forward.
With Rice leaving, the 23/24 season would be defined by how West Ham moved on from losing their star midfield man. With so much money in the bank, West Ham were expected to make improvements, but would they be able to replace Rice and improve on what the 22/23 brought to the club.
West Ham new signings: Summer 2023 arrivals
Another signing from Ajax, Kudos is the latest midfielder to join West Ham. Which, given Rice's £105m fee, means West Ham have essentially rebuilt their entire midfield off the back of one transfer. Kudus joined West Ham in fine form, having scored a hat-trick in his final game for Ajax in the Eruopa League Play-off win over Ludogrets.
West Ham were lucky to land Kudus, a player who was close to joining Brighton earlier in the window. However, that deal collapsed when Brighton failed to reach personal terms with the former Ajax man. Their loss will be West Ham's gain as they continue to strengthen their attack.
In their quest to replace Declan Rice, West Ham finally landed their man in Mexican international Alvarez. Linked with moves to clubs across Europe since January last year, West Ham eventually landed the Mexican for £35m. At just 25 years old, Álvarez is a perfect age to join the demanding Premier League and replace the void left by Declan Rice.
Álvarez makes the switch from Ajax; while he did not start out life in a deep midfield role, the time spent at the heart of defense has served him well as he moved higher up the pitch. Álvarez will likely take some time to adapt, with Moyes needing to slowly introduce the player into his lineup over the opening weeks of the season.
James Ward-Prowse was always going to leave Southampton at the end of last season, relegation or not. However, what surprised some was how long it took him to find a new club. Saints fans even thought he might stay for a while, but Ward-Prowse was always likely to follow as the exodus of talent leaving Southampton. With some of the “top 6” sides sniffing around, but never making a move, Ward-Prowse has settled quickly to his new life in West Ham. In his opening two games, he registered two assists and a goal, making him an instant hit with Hammers fans.
— Premier League (@premierleague) August 23, 2023
With his set-piece delivery and hard-working attitude in the midfield, Ward-Prowse will likely have a fantastic first season at West Ham. He'll likely be leaving many clubs wondering why they didn't take a risk on a player some deemed “too old”.
Mavropanos, the former Arsenal man, sealed a deal to join West Ham on a five-year deal. His last stint in the Premier League was fairly uninspired, with the defender only clocking up seven appearances for the Gunners before being loaned out. Mavropanos has also claimed 19 appearances for Greece. His life post-Arsenal was much more fruitful for the Greek international, picking up 89 appearances for Stuttgart since joining from Arsenal.
West Ham transfer departures
It was one of the most talked about transfers of the summer; while there were many clubs interested, Arsenal got their man in the end. At the same time, West Ham fans will hate to see Rice leave; that £105m fee has alone seen the club bring in the majority of their other signings. With Álvarez, the replacement for Rice, costing just £35m, West Ham might have done a great bit of business, even if it was at the expense of losing one of their leaders.
Thank you for the memories, Dec. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/yknfIMLcHj
— West Ham United (@WestHam) July 15, 2023
While Rice moves to a rival club in Arsenal, West Ham have secured a sizeable fee. West Ham will now look to move on, while also looking to find a new club captain.
It just wasn't to be for Scamacca, as David Moyes' side struggled to find a striker to challenge Antonio for a first-team spot. Scamacca joined West Ham amid interest from several other clubs, but his time with West Ham just never really clicked. Picking up just three goals in 18 appearances for West Ham, Scamacca returns to Italy to play for Atalanta. The only saving grace for West Ham is that they recovered most of the £28m fee they paid for Scammaca, just a year prior.
While his performances were not great overall, his knee surgery in March saw him miss more games than he played towards the end of the season. An injury that was likely the nail in the coffin for his time at West Ham.
A time to forget for Vlašić , who has ended his two years with West Ham and moved to Italian side Torino. Spending 22/23 at Torino, having only picked up around 500 minutes for West Ham the season prior. At the end of the loan, the Italian side opted to buy Vlašić with the buy clause asserted into his loan contract.
Having played 105 times for West Ham, Masuaku has followed his 22/23 season loan at Beşiktaş by making the move permanent. West Ham will receive a £2m fee for the deal. He played 27 times for Beşiktaş, netting twice in his first season.
After spending eight years at West Ham, Lanzini called time on his adventure in the Premier League. With his contract now expired, he's taking up a new life at River Plate. Joining his boyhood club, Lanzini returns to the club that gave him his breakthrough back in 2014.