Can this Italian duo salvage West Ham’s season?

With 16 Premier League games left this season, West Ham United look in real trouble, with the London outfit sitting in the dropzone and in a run of very poor form.

After being unceremoniously dumped out of the FA Cup 5-0 by Nottingham Forest, Sam Allardyce’s charges exited the Capital One Cup at the semi-finals stage by losing 9-0 on aggregate to Manchester City.

Rumblings over the security of the manager’s job continue, while star player Ravel Morrison is the subject of interest from other Premier League clubs.

However, Allardyce is a renowned wheeler and dealer in the transfer market, and has obviously been looking for the players that will save his job and keep the Hammers in the top flight this January.

The Upton Park outfit have announced a double loan signing that could well go some way to ensuring their safety and will undoubtedly add quality to the squad at the former Bolton boss’ disposal.

Italian international duo Marco Borriello and Antonio Nocerino have been confirmed as new loan additions until the end of the season, and will offer significant experience and technical ability to the suffering West Ham side.

Borriello, 31, has been on the outside looking in as Roma have played their way into title contention under new manager Rudi Garcia. With the former Lille boss putting immense faith in firm favourite Gervinho, Borriello has only had the chance to start six Serie A games this term, netting a solitary goal against Chievo.

The seven-times capped striker has a reputation for inconsistency in his homeland, as at various times during his career he has either been ruthless in front of goal – or toothless.

Marco BorrielloBorriello is no stranger to a loan move, as his sabbatical at West Ham will be the tenth time he has been farmed out by his parent club. On the books of AC Milan for eight years, the attacker only managed just over 50 Serie A appearances for i Rossoneri, but shone elsewhere on loan – namely at Genoa in the 2007-08 campaign.

Since a move to Roma in 2010, Borriello has been plagued by inconsistency, and has dropped down the pecking order at the Stadio Olimpico. He has spent time on loan at Juventus since, and had a solid season with Genoa in his second season-long spell with the club last term.

The Hammers have suffered up front this season, with key forward Andy Carroll absent through injury. Borriello is something of a wildcard for Allardyce’s charges, as although he has the ability to be lethal if granted a chance to shoot, he also can be largely anonymous in games too.

Nocerino moves to the Premier League from AC Milan with a point to prove to Cesare Prandelli ahead of this summer’s World Cup in Brazil.

The box-to-box midfielder has been capped 15 times by the Azzurri, and will hope to book his place in the contingent heading to South America with regular football in England.

The 28-year-old was on the books of Juventus for five years after coming through the youth ranks in Turin, but was never really given a chance to play consistently for i Bianconeri, spending most of his time on loan at lesser clubs.

A move to Palermo in 2008 was where Nocerino made his name, as he quickly became regarded as one of the most rounded central midfielders in Serie A. After being snapped up by Milan in 2011, the midfielder has been a regular in the side up until this season, where he has seen the arrival of Nigel De Jong limit his chances to play.

With Milan’s addition of Michael Essien, Nocerino was becoming something of a forgotten man and will look to kick start his season in England.

Nocerino looks like he has all the qualities to fit in at West Ham and in the Premier League. He is not afraid to put his foot in and has a lot of energy in the centre of the park, but is also able to get forward and create for others. One facet of his game that Allardyce and the Upton Park faithful will hope to see is his ability to get goals from midfield, which has been evident in recent seasons in Milan.

With only one win from their last nine games, West Ham certainly need a shot in the arm, and these Italy internationals look like having the ability to deliver it. The London club will need the new faces to adapt to life in England as quickly as possible, as a relegation skirmish looks exceedingly likely for Allardyce’s charges.

I am a freelance football journalist from Northern Ireland living in Broome in Western Australia. I have worked for top media outlets such as FourFourTwo,, Soccerlens, Football Fancast and Here is the City. I am a lifelong and long-suffering Tottenham fan. Follow me on Twitter at @90MinsOnline
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