With the season approaching its final few months, we take a look at the top five candidates who could win the annual Hammer of the Year award come May.

Having had an excellent campaign so far, West Ham are6 th in the Premier League table on 45 points – winning six points more already than we did across the whole of last season.

The race for European spot is heating up, but at the moment West Ham are right in the middle of all the action. Our players have performed solidly all season, which means there will be lots of candidates up for the Hammer of the Year award.

Last year Declan Rice just pipped Angelo Ogbonna to the trophy, but this year there is more competition. Therefore. we take a look at who could be in contention to win the annual award at the end of this season…

Declan Rice

Last year’s Hammer of the Year has had another outstanding campaign in claret and blue. Our on-field captain has been a vital member of the squad and has played in every Premier League game so far this season.

While helping the rest of the team to improve, Rice himself has also upped his game. He averages 1.9 tackles per game, 1.9 interceptions per game (the joint second highest in the league) and has a passing accuracy of 87.5% (WhoScored).

A lot of his qualities aren’t recorded on the stat sheet either. His leadership, motivation, passion and work rate has helped us strive for a European place, which has made Rice one of the stand-out candidates this season.

If he did win he would be the first Hammer to win the award back-to-back since Scott Parker in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Tomas Soucek

Declan Rice’s defensive midfield partner Tomas Soucek has also been an excellent player this season. The Czech Republic international has arguably been West Ham’s signing of the season and has been a revelation since joining on an initial loan deal last January.

Soucek is West Ham’s top scorer so far, with eight goals. He has won the most aerial battles in the entire league (150), started every game and has produced excellent defensive contributions as well.

Like Rice, his work rate and determination to win for the club has made him a stand out performer. Soucek also has a very good chance at taking home the award in his first full season with the Hammers.

Vladimir Coufal

New right-back Vladimir Coufal was our second signing from Slavia Prague this season, along with Tomas Soucek, and has proved to be another excellent addition to the squad.

The 28-year-old’s defensive contribution and work rate has helped the team become more defensively solid. He makes 2.7 tackles, the most in the team, 1.3 interceptions and 2.5 clearances per game, as well as adding four assists to his name (WhoScored).

For £5m Coufal has been an incredible bargain for David Moyes, and he has come straight into the side and made an immediate impact – which is why he is a strong candidate for Hammer of the Year.

Angelo Ogbonna

Despite suffering a knee injury that will keep him out for the next few weeks, Angelo Ogbonna has once again had a remarkable season. He has helped mould our back four into a defensively sound unit and has been a regular in the team.

Before he was sidelined, Ogbonna had played in every league match, led the league in headed clearances and averaged 4.4 clearances per game.

The 32-year-old has proved that he is still a vital member of the squad and integral to our success. Unfortunately, his injury might prevent him from winning the award this season, but no-one would question the club’s decision if last year’s runner up won it.

Michail Antonio

West Ham’s lone striker Michail Antonio is another player that has shown his worth to the club again this year. Antonio has been in incredible form this season, and has stepped up when the club have needed a goal scorer.

In 15 appearances, Antonio has scored seven goals and produced three assists. It is clear to see that when he plays the whole team benefits and, despite two months on the sidelines, he is still the team’s second-highest scorer.

Like Ogbonna, if he hadn’t have got injured Antonio definitely would have had a better chance at winning the award. That being said, however, the 30-year-old is still a key attacking threat for West Ham and his attacking contributions show that.

Notable mentions:

  • Aaron Cresswell
  • Craig Dawson 
  • Jesse Lingard 
  • Lukasz Fabianski
  • Jarrod Bowen 

West Ham World prediction:

Hammer of the Year winner – Tomas Soucek 

West Ham World predict that it will be a tight contest between on-field captain Declan Rice and signing of the season Tomas Soucek.

Rice has been incredible once again, and Soucek has delivered one of the best debut seasons we have seen at the club in a long time. Without either of these two players, our season would not have been the same.

Ultimately, however, we expect that Soucek will take home the award for his amazing contributions for the team at both ends of the pitch this season.