Last week we touched on the bizarre attacking duo of Mladen Petric and Marco Borriello, but who will make our embarrassing list this week? On our journey through David Gold and David Sullivan’s dreadful attacking signings in their time in charge of our Football club.
Ecuadorian international Enner Valencia was signed by Sam Allardyce in summer 2014 following his efforts at The World Cup in Brazil, but he would far from live up to his huge price tag.
The fee was believed to be in the region of £12 million which was £3 million short of the fee that was paid for former England striker Andy Carroll the season before. In a bizarre statement, shortly after making his move, Valencia admitted to only previously hearing of the club from the 2005 hooligan film Green Street. The 27-year-old missed a vital penalty in the shootout that decided our League Cup defeat to Sheffield United, and this would set the tone for the rest of his spell in East London.
Despite his torrid start in English Football, the former Pachuca man scored a stunning 25-yard effort against Hull City in his second Premier League month and notched two further goals in October and November against Burnley and Stoke City. However, his only other goal in the 2014/2015 campaign would come in the dramatic F.A Cup third round replay victory over Everton, as the Ecuadorian was plagued by injury and poor form for the rest of the term.
As Slaven Bilic arrived at Upton Park as manager, it was understood that the Croat wasn’t too keen on Valencia. However, before Bilic could decide properly on the forward, he was injured in the Europa League third qualifying round game against Astra Giurgiu, a game that he also scored in. Valencia returned to action midway through the Premier League campaign and netted all his goals for the season in the space of three games in January 2016. Valencia was superb in the 1-3 away victory at Bournemouth with two vital late goals, which included a sumptuous free-kick from the edge of the box. A week and a half later bought the last ever visit of Manchester City to The Boleyn Ground, with the former Emelec man giving us the lead twice with impressive finishes past Joe Hart. However, the goals would turn out to be his last in Claret and Blue, as he was loaned out to Ronald Koeman’s Everton for the 2016/2017 season.
The agile forward would also endure little success on Merseyside, scoring just three times in over 20 appearances for The Toffees. Before his loan to Goodison Park, Valencia expressed emotional distress after being taken off in his final Hammers home game against The Cherries at The London Stadium.
Enner Valencia finally made his move away from the Premier League in recent weeks, returning to Mexico with Tigres. He will go down in Hammers history as another expensive Gold and Sullivan forward that failed to deliver on multiple occasions.
Former PSG forward Anderson Luiz de Carvalho or “Nene” will go down with such names as Wellington Paulista and Mladen Petric as “pointless signings”, with their careers fading away during their time in Claret and Blue.
The Brazilian completed his move to Upton Park in February 2015 as a free agent and hit the post in his debut, a 1-3 home defeat to Crystal Palace. The former Santos man would go on to make a handful of appearances from the bench and hit the bar against The Clarets. However, he never started a game in Claret & Blue and was released in summer 2015.
There is no doubt that both Valencia and Nene will barely be remembered by future generations of Hammers to come, just like many other of their fellow strikers that were signed under David Gold and David Sullivan.