From the Terraces - Ollie Hirst

Fan blogger Ollie Hirst looks at where the Hammers squad could be strengthened over the summer

Fan blogger Ollie Hirst writes...

One final season at our famous old Boleyn Ground beckons and wouldn't it be great to leave on a high?

This summer provides us with an opportunity to lay the foundations for what promises to be a bright future in Stratford. Tuesday's season ticket reduction announcement only whet the appetite further - especially off the back of a disappointing end to the season (which can still be rectified with five games to go) after it looked which to have been our best season in years.

Perhaps if we'd been consistently average throughout the campaign rather than outstanding in the first half and not so great in the second half of the season, we wouldn't already be thinking ahead to next season.

Still, our latter season change of fortunes has highlighted a need for squad reinforcements in the coming transfer window. Winston Reid's new deal is great piece of news for all Hammers fans and we all hope that Carl Jenkinson is next to be tied down, although there's probably an Arsenal-shaped obstacle that requires hurdling before that can happen.

Alex Song's imminent return to Barcelona also needs addressing, whether we plan to bring him back next year or not. Another central midfielder will need to be sought even if Song, or anyone else comes in.

It is clear that in recent years we Hammers have been starved of someone who can properly get us out of our seats - without resulting in an immediate plonk back down again. Paolo Di Canio, Carlos Tevez and (old) Joe Cole are the best I've seen in my lifetime.

That's why the recent links to Everton's Kevin Mirallas are particularly encouraging. We all saw first-hand how exciting he can be in January's FA Cup replay - scoring a magnificent free-kick before giving our defenders the run around to set up Romelu Lukaku to finish.

Signing a player of Mirallas' calibre would be a real statement of intent from us, but we could face competition from London neighbours Tottenham who would probably have the edge on us, owning Everton loan star Aaron Lennon as they do.

Even if it's not Mirallas, we should be looking to strengthen in wide areas. Nottingham Forest's Michail Antonio is one slightly left field alternative. The Wandsworth-born winger has lit up a largely disappointing campaign at the City Ground with 14 goals and 12 assists since his £1.8m transfer from Sheffield Wednesday in the summer.

Like Mirallas, Antonio is a right-footer who prefers to inflict damage by cutting in from the left. Unlike the Belgian, he is brutish in appearance and a combination of pace and power allows him to take a more direct route to goal. He is certainly capable of creating excitement in the stands.

We should know better than most not to be deterred by a player's Championship status. At no stage this season has Aaron Cresswell looked like he'd spent three years in the second tier and another three below that.

QPR's Charlie Austin and Burnley's Danny Ings are further examples of Championship players successfully bridging the gap. Despite Diafra Sakho's goal haul so far and while we all enjoy Andy Carroll when he's about, injury to either next term is likely to leave us a bit light on the ground.

Bigger things are expected of Enner Valencia as he continues to adapt to life in far foreign lands, but he would be one of just three senior centre-forwards if Carlton Cole leaves and Mauro Zarate decides his future lies elsewhere after he returns from his loan spell at QPR.

Either Austin or Ings would be ideal, but someone like Watford's Troy Deeney should seriously be considered as well over the summer. About to turn 27, there is perhaps no better time to pounce on a striker whose 20-plus goals for three seasons in a row have left him primed to explode in the Premier League.

Finally, we must also keep an eye on Jussi Jaaskelainen's situation, if the veteran goalkeeper does depart we will need some serious competition for Adrian.

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The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of West Ham United.