West Ham's record signing suffers long-term injury


West Ham United captain Mark Noble admits that his side should have held on for the win in their Europa League qualifier against Astra Giurgiu.

The Ghana global lasted just 35 minutes on the pitch and will miss the European clash against the Romanians.

When you look at the way in which they treated the Europa League qualifying rounds last summer - playing youngsters and fringe players - it's no surprise Slaven Bilic's men ended up crashing out in the third qualifying round.

"For me they played a good game against Copenhagen at home and I know how good the teams from Romania can be".

Michail Antonio came close to doubling West Ham's lead in the second half and his miss would prove costly as Astra stormed up the other end to equalise late on.

You can remind yourself what happened in the two games by watching the short highlights videos below.

The East Londoners will be away for the first leg against the side they were knocked out to last season on Thursday August 18, with the return leg at the Olympic Stadium on August 25.

Serie A side Sassuolo put one foot in the group stage with a 3-0 win at home against Red Star Belgrade.

West Ham United have confirmed the signing of Jonathan Calleri after he received global clearance on Tuesday (16 August).

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Bilic concluded: "I know the Romanian league, being from Croatia, and I know how good Romanian teams can be", and he was full adamant "OK, maybe they sold a few players, but I'm expecting a tough game".

The Hammers will be hoping that they can go one step further in this competition than they did last season and will be going up against similar opponents.

Astra knocked Slaven Bilic's side out of this competition in qualifying a year ago so the Londoners will be out for revenge.

They traveled across London to take on Antonio Conte's Chelsea, who took the lead early in the second period thanks to Eden Hazard's penalty.

There is a few first-team faces that will be missing from the trip to Romania, and there will also be some considerations ahead of their match with Bournemouth.

Slaven Bilic's side managed to go one qualifying round further than they did previous year, thanks to their 4-2 aggregate win over NK Domzale.

West Ham has signed Argentine striker Jonathan Calleri on a season-long loan, soon after he competed for his country in the football tournament at the Rio Olympics.

"These are exciting times for me personally and I am motivated to adapt my game to this new environment".