West Ham United hope Italian job will boost survival hopes

West Ham United hope to have improved their chances of Premier League survival by signing Marco Borriello and Antonio Nocerino.

It has been a campaign of struggle for Sam Allardyce’s side thus far, as their accumulation of just 18 points sees them occupying a position in the relegation zone. Their fate, though, is certainly far from sealed, as they are only a point away from a survival place, indeed just six from a top-half spot, and they still have 16 games to play.

The Hammers will have hoped to have boosted their chances of survival with a double swoop for Borriello and Nocerino, who arrive on loan from Roma and Milan respectively. The Italians become the second and third new arrivals at Upton Park since the window reopened, after Roger Johnson joined, also in a temporary deal, from Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Striker Borriello, 31, has won seven international caps, the last of which came almost three years under Cesare Prandelli. He has struggled for form for the Giallorossi this season, scoring just once in 11 league matches, although only six of these have been as a starter. In the past, he has topped the Serie A goalscoring charts when, in 2008, he scored 19 times in a loan spell at Genoa, for whom he scored 12 times in another temporary stint last term.

Nocerino is a 28-year-old midfielder, who won the last of his 15 Azzurri caps in September 2012, and he scored one of the penalties as Italy edged past England in the European Championships of that year. He has featured 13 times for Milan this season, but new coach Clarence Seedorf is happy to let him go following the arrival of Michael Essien.

This will give Allardyce some much-needed cheer in what has otherwise been a frustrating month in the transfer market. The West Ham manager thought he had bagged a loan deal for Monaco’s giant striker Lacina Traore, only to see Everton pinch in and take him from under his nose. And Johnny Heitinga was all set to leave the Toffees for the Hammers, but the defender decided against the move at the last minute. A £7million bid for Southampton’s Rickie Lambert was lodged earlier this month, but this too hit a brick wall.


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