West Ham have surpassed all expectations this season — but there might be a tinge of disappointment with how it is set to conclude.
The Hammers will miss out on a place in the top four, despite being in the hunt for Champions League football for much of the campaign.
Qualification for the Europa League remains a possibility and there has undoubtedly been huge progress under David Moyes.
As West Ham get set to face relegated West Brom tonight, we look at how the East Londoners could push on to even greater heights in 2021-22.
A significant summer
It is crucial the Hammers make full use of the summer transfer window — strengthening their squad in the required areas in order to avoid taking a step back.
The most obvious priority is the permanent signing of Jesse Lingard, who has excelled since joining on loan from Manchester United in January.
Nine goals in 14 Premier League games is remarkable and the England international ranks in the division’s top 10 players for shots on target per 90 minutes (1.45).
At 28, Lingard seems to be playing the best football of his career, though Moyes has admitted a permanent move to the London Stadium is not guaranteed.
He said: “I am not actually sure how realistic it is. Obviously, I think Jesse has enjoyed himself, I hope he has.
“We have enjoyed having him and he is Manchester United’s player, so they can decide what to do with him — and if they want to let him go, let’s hope he would consider us as one of his options.”
Should Lingard prove to be an unattainable target, West Ham could turn to Norwich playmaker Emiliano Buendia.
The Argentine, who impressed despite Norwich’s relegation from the Premier League last season, has already been heavily linked with Arsenal.
Buendia scored 15 goals and provided 16 assists as the Canaries eased to the Championship title this term, so it is no surprise there are several interested clubs.
A new No9
Moyes may also be keen to bring in a new striker.
The fact Lingard is the club’s joint-top scorer this season having played so few games suggests a potential problem.
Michail Antonio has done well in his new role as a centre forward but he is unlikely to turn into a prolific goalscorer.
He has managed nine in all competitions, while Tomas Soucek and Jarrod Bowen have 17 between them.
With no one in the squad having reached double figures, this is certainly a potential area for improvement.
Tammy a target
West Ham have been linked with Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham, who has managed 12 goals this term despite falling out of favour under Thomas Tuchel.
That would be a shrewd acquisition and almost certainly a good move for both parties as things stand — the only sticking point is likely to be the asking price, which is expected to be in the region of £40million.
A cheaper option could be Slavia Prague youngster Abdallah Sima, with the Czech side’s manager Jindrich Trpisovsky revealing last Sunday that West Ham are interested in the 19-year-old.
He said: “There is interest in Abdallah Sima. There’s a set price at which he could leave.
“We focus on managing the rest of the season with us. We talked about it with the boys from West Ham, where they have him very high on the list of possible reinforcements.”
The Senegalese striker has averaged an incredible 0.71 goals per 90 in the Czech First League this season and Slavia president Jaroslav Tvrdik admits the club would find an offer of £30m difficult to refuse.
But whoever the Hammers end up pursuing, they are going to need to spend big to reach the next level and mount another assault on the Champions League spots next season.