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Why Winston Reid deal proves power shift at 'big things' West Ham

COMMENT: Securing Winston Reid's signature yesterday to a new six-and-a-half year deal should end all doubts. The balance of power at West Ham United has shifted.

No longer are the Hammers just a stepping stone to bigger things - they are the next big thing.

With the move to Stratford edging closer, a healthy bank balance and a team fighting for Europe - rather than the drop - Reid would've been mad to walk out at this point in West Ham's history.

Yes, the mooted £65,000-a-week tabled will have had an influence, but so would have seeing teammates Mark Noble and James Tomkins pen new deals before him. The presence of Alex Song, from Barcelona, and Cheikhou Kouyaté will have convinced Reid of the board's ambitions - but it now goes deeper.

At the turn of the year Reece Oxford, England's U17 captain, penned pro terms with the Hammers, resisting offers from every major club in the country in the process. Reid knows all about Oxford, as the 16 year-old has been part of Sam Allardyce's matchday squad several times this season.

Reece Burke, an England U18 international defender, did the same, as did Oscar Borg, after trials and a tentative offer from Manchester United's academy. Where Aston Villa now see Dan Crowley tipped for big things at Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion lament the losses of Izzy Brown (Chelsea) and Jerome Sinclair (Liverpool), the frustration of losing their best prospects to bigger rivals is now no longer a reality at West Ham.

Irons should not doubt the words of co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan when they talk up the chances of luring more 'Alex Song types' to the club once they're settled at their new Stratford home. The move to the London Olympic stadium has made news inside the game right around the world.

tribalfootball.com can reveal Alexandre Pato, the former AC Milan striker, was TWICE offered to the Hammers last summer. While West Ham would not have been on the Sao Paolo star's radar in the past, the idea of helping the club in its move and playing in the Olympic stadium was put to the Brazilian - and something which appealed.

And to think, West Ham will only pay £15 million to move to their new home - valued at £450 million. And all achieved before the £5.5 billion TV deal. Sullivan, Gold and Karren Brady must take a bow.

Even the collapse of shirt sponsors Alpari worked to their favour, with Betway stepping in and Brady negotiating club record terms.

It was a no brainer for Reid. Yes, Arsenal and Liverpool will have been tempting. But how could the Kiwi even consider leaving?

For the first time in the club's modern history, the balance of power has shifted. Players, no matter how talented, now need West Ham more than the Hammers need them.

Its exciting times ahead for Reid and the Irons.


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Chris Beattie
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Chris Beattie

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