Kirk’s Column: It’s likely to be a busy summer

PUBLISHED: 10:30 23 May 2013 | UPDATED: 10:30 23 May 2013

Sam Allardyce has a busy summer ahead as he plans to improved the West Ham squad. Pic: Clive Gee/PA Wire

Sam Allardyce has a busy summer ahead as he plans to improved the West Ham squad. Pic: Clive Gee/PA Wire

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Kirk Blows writes each week for the Barking & Dagenham Post.

Sam Allardyce shared a post-match drink with Reading boss Nigel Adkins on Sunday as the two men reflected on their contrasting fortunes this year.

Allardyce could celebrate West Ham’s 4-2 win that saw them secure a top-10 finish, while Adkins was entitled to drown his sorrows as his side returns to the Championship after just one season.

The Hammers became the first club to secure a top-half placing immediately after winning promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs since the last time they achieved such a feat in 2006.

It means the club pockets £8.3m in prize money as opposed to the £6.8m they would have been forced to settle with if the team had suffered defeat in their final game.

That extra £1.5m will surely help Allardyce as he looks to improve his squad during the summer.

The Hammers boss said he was hoping to enjoy a “quieter time in the transfer market” this year but the reality is that he has a lot of work to do if he wants to make the team stronger.

The fact of the matter is that he could find himself needing to replace SIX strikers over the next few months.

Allardyce insisted that securing Andy Carroll on a permanent deal was his “main priority” and, although a £15m fee has been agreed with Liverpool, it remains to be seen (at the time of writing) if the England man will put pen to paper.

Carlton Cole is leaving the club after holding talks with Big Sam on Monday, while loan signings Marouane Chamakh and Wellington Paulista have proved to be a total waste of time.

Modibo Maiga has been out of favour and is likely to move on, while Ricardo Vaz Te has looked out of his depth in the top flight.

However, the Hammers have been linked with Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku following his impressive loan spell at West Brom.

The brilliantly named Razvan Rat has already been recruited to fill the left-back slot, but there is sure to be further speculation about the future of midfielder Mo Diame this summer, while Gary O’Neil is in talks about a new contract.

Add in the need for another centre-half and that’s 10 holes that Allardyce could need to fill before the transfer window closes.

Sam can enjoy a few beers on holiday but his summer could be busier than he would like…

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