By George Overhill

5th Aug, 2022 | 9:10pm

Richard Keys makes West Ham United predictions on trophy and Champions League chances

West Ham will do well this season but won’t qualify for the Champions League, according to Richard Keys in his predications for the new campaign.

Operating with a thin squad, and going without reinforcements in January, David Moyes led the Hammers to seventh-placed Premier League finish in 2021/22 and the Europa League semi-final.

The transfer window has been highly eventful around the London Stadium, and was looking very positive until the shock twist that saw Amadou Onana abandon talks with the club in order to head for Everton in a deal which looks imminent.

The squad has been strengthened despite this with the arrivals of Nayef Aguerd, Flynn Downes and big-money Italian striker Gianluca Scamacca, and Keys feels there is a chance that the season ends in silverware for the Irons.

Writing in a blog post making predictions on the new season he said: “I expect the Hammers to go well, but I don’t see them in a CL place.

“I reckon Moyes would take a trophy – any trophy. And so he should. If he delivers silverware it will have been a great season.”

In the balance?

It is difficult to quantify how to rate the summer developments currently, as there have been notable positives with the signings that have come through the doors, and the imminent arrival of Maxwel Cornet, as well as Declan Rice staying.

The injury to Nayef Aguerd clearly tempers things, and the bewildering turn of events that saw Onana appear on the brink of making a move to the London Stadium after months of work on the deal, only for the to quickly be a complete breakdown in the talks, looks a major blow.

Missing out on Jesse Lingard was disappointing, as was Armando Broja, but the club reacted by moving quickly for other targets.

On the whole it seems clear that the squad is stronger than it was last season, with the notable departures being ones that didn’t feature heavily in the first-team.

Mark Noble’s retirement was more of an emotional loss than a functional one, while Alex Kral’s loan ending could have passed without most West Ham fans noticing.

And while it has frustrated the club no end to see Sonny Perkins leave for Leeds, in terms of the senior side last season he was wasn’t a big factor.

So in light of the job Moyes has managed to do in the past two seasons there has to be plenty of optimism that he can build further, and Keys’ prediction may not be far from the truth.

A couple more arrivals before the end of the window would help soften the Onana disappointment as well.