Quina and Portugal get off to winning start
Our young midfielder Domingos Quina helped his Portugal side to a 0-1 win over hosts Georgia in their first game of the 2017 European U19 Championship on Sunday. The starlet played 72 minutes for Helio Sousa’s men before being replaced by Miguel Luiz, as the Portuguese narrowly edged past the Georgian’s at The Tengez Burjanadze Stadioni. Quina showed bright flashes for the team in light and dark blue, but it was bright forward Rui Pedro who made the difference in winning and scoring the decisive penalty. It could have been an entirely different story for Portugal as Gedson Fernandes was dismissed on 73 minutes for a second bookable offence, but a resilient Portuguese defence survived a late wave of Georgian pressure. Quina and his teammates will now travel to Tbilisi to face group A toppers The Czech Republic on Wednesday.
Transfer gossip: Hammers eye Mexican duo
It has been rumoured in the last few days by The Sun that we are set to launch a bid for former Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez in the coming months. The 29-year-old has 94 caps for Mexico and has recently been on international duty with his national side at The Confederations Cup in Russia. “The Little Pea” was signed by Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford in 2010 and helped The Red Devils to two Premier League titles in his time at the club. Chicharito was sold to German side Bayer Leverkusen for a fee believed to be in the region of £8 million following a loan move to Real Madrid. The former CONCACAF Gold Cup winner has notched 28 goals in 58 games for the Bundesliga side, but is now reportedly craving a move back to England. However, it is not the first time that we have been linked with the former United man, we failed in our attempt to hijack his move to Leverkusen in the summer 2015 Transfer Window. So, could Hernandez be finally moving to East London, but this time under Slaven Bilic?
It has also been reported this week by various Portuguese Newspapers that Slaven Bilic is eyeing a move for Benfica striker Raul Jimenez. The 26-year-old bagged nine Primeira Liga goals last season, as he helped Benfica to a title win. However, the former Atletico Madrid man hinted at a move to The Premier League in a recent interview with ESPN.com when he remarked: “The Premier League is a great Championship, but I close no doors and we’ll see what happens”. Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are also understood to be interested in the Mexican international with a price tag of £10 million reportedly being set. So, we may face some competition if we are going to land Jimenez’s signature.
Martinez looks ahead to pre-season
Our young Spanish forward Antonio Martinez has expressed his excitement at the start of a busy pre-season schedule. The 20-year-old finished as U23 top scorer last season, as he helped his fellow youngsters to a Play-Off promotion to the PL2 Division One. Two of his 14 goals last term came in the Play-Off final victory over The Magpies and the former Valencia man achieved all of this despite a loan at Oxford United that took up the second half of last season. However, it is unclear whether the starlet will be joining the first team on their pre-season trips to Austria, Germany and Iceland, or the U23’s packed pre-season schedule which includes friendlies against EFL teams to prepare them for their first season in the PL2 Division One. One thing is for sure though, it shouldn’t be long before the former Spanish youth international makes his first-team bow.
London Stadium undergoes transformation
The London Stadium has been transformed into a concert and athletics venue in recent weeks, as a summer of non-football related sport awaits. The large West Ham United banner on the front of the arena has been removed along with the retractable seating which is now sitting outside the Stadium. The de-branding of the Stadium has angered many Hammers fans, who do not feel like Stratford will ever properly feel like our Footballing home. Nevertheless, The London Stadium is set to host The World Para Athletics Championships and The World Athletics Championships, with the likes of Usain Bolt and Hannah Cockcroft competing. It won’t be until late August until the Stadium is switched back into Football mode and our first home game of the 2017/2018 campaign will be the League visit of Huddersfield on Saturday 9th September.