West Ham United have been in a woeful run of form of late and they have accumulated just two points from the previous six matches in the Premier League.
During this period, they have largely missed the services of goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski due to his long-term knee injury and his deputy Roberto has been poor between the sticks, having committed a number of errors leading to goals.
As a result, the east London outfit are likely to spend on a new shot-stopper at the turn of the year and we look into three candidates, who could preferably fit into the position.
Jack Butland – Stoke City:
The England international has been a mainstay with Stoke City over the years but he could be tempted to consider his future with the Potters languishing in the 23rd spot in the Championship.
Based on the current season’s result, the Staffordshire outfit are likely to reshuffle the squad by next summer but Butland could be lured to the Premier League in January, particularly with the assurance of regular gametime with the Hammers.
At 26, Butland has plenty of time left to shape his career and he has the chance of replacing Fabianski as the number one in the long-term, considering the Pole will turn 35 by the end of the season.
Butland has lost his place with the Three Lions due to his indifferent form through the current campaign and the move to the London Stadium could offer him renewed hope of making the national side ahead of Euro 2020.
Wayne Hennessey – Crystal Palace:
Hennessey has been the preferred choice in goal for the Wales national side but the same has not been the case at Crystal Palace where Vicente Guaita has been preferred ahead of him since the backend of last season.
The 32-year-old has good experience of playing in the top-flight with 167 appearances for Wolverhampton Wanderers and Palace, and he could act as a short-term fix for the Hammers.
The Welshman does have the tendency of making the occasional error in goal but he should prove a better option when compared to Roberto, who has barely provided any confidence to the defence ahead of him.
Neil Etheridge – Cardiff City:
Neil Etheridge was undoubtedly Cardiff’s best player during their Premier League campaign last season and he made the second-most number of saves in the division while keeping 10 clean sheets.
Surprisingly, no one approached to sign him after the Bluebirds’ relegation to the Championship, but the Hammers were linked with his services before recruiting Roberto, who has failed to prove his worth.
Injuries have limited Etheridge to just six appearances this season but that should not faze the Hammers, given he has already shown his potential in the Premier League with his quick reflexes.
Etheridge has under two years remaining on his current Cardiff contract and it remains to be seen whether the Hammers are prepared to offer him a route back to the top tier.