That man is Jesse Lingard. For a few seasons now, Lingard has struggled to make an impact after he emerged as a promising young player for Manchester United, barely making an appearance on the bench let alone playing for them this season.
His loan to West Ham came as a surprise to many, even more so the impact he started to have.
The team lost just 2 of his first 10 games, with Lingard himself providing 14 contributions, scoring 10 goals, more than he ever did in a season for united.
There’s no doubt knowing who your manager is prior to the season starting and having a whole pre season to work helps. Whether it was the commoradary built after a fighting season or the many additions including two united outcasts, what’s certain is everything has come together to propel West Ham into the top half of the Premier League table.
The 2020/21 Premier League season has the potential to shape West Ham’s path for years to come.
While they won’t be winning the Premier League like the infamous 2015/2016 Leicester City team, if they manage to play European football next season, they have the potential to establish themselves as a top half threat for years to come just like the Foxes have done ever since their triumph. Keep Lingard, add to the current squad and try continue their upward trajectory.
A Sheffield United sequel is also on the cards. When the league shut down last March, the Blades were serious Champions League Contenders, but after losing their final 3 games of the season, they dropped down to a 9th place finish.
The team has now been mathematically relegated already this season, with the possibility of joining an unwanted Premier League list to be the 7th club ever to finish a season with 20 points or less.
Ask any realistic Hammers fan if they thought European Football was a possibility this season and they would have laughed at you.
No one knows what West Ham United will do next season, but what’s certain is last season’s 16th place finish will be forgotten, and a new chapter has the potential to be written in Hammers history.