West Ham United fans are finally seeing their club spend some serious money.

It is an exciting time to be a Hammer after co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold sanctioned over £90 million of transfers for new manager Manuel Pellegrini.

West Ham have signed Jack Wilshere and Ryan Fredericks on free transfers, Issa Diop, Lukas Fabianski, Andriy Yarmolenko and Fabian Balbuena for a combined £56 million and record signing Felipe Anderson for a fee which could reportedly rise to £42 million.

Supporters have been unhappy with Sullivan and Gold over what they feel have been broken promises regarding spending.

But it looks as if the penny has dropped and Pellegrini is being given the tools he needs to build a competitive side.


However just when everything was looking rosy in the West Ham garden along comes a party pooper in the form of self-styled South American football expert Tim Vickery.

Vickery, a freelance English football journalist who has lived in Brazil since 1994, is the South American football correspondent for outlets such as BBC Sport, ESPN and talkSPORT.

And speaking on talkSPORT about West Ham’s transfer activity he brought Hammers fans crashing back down to earth by questioning whether Balbuena or Anderson have what it takes to cut it in the Premier League.

“He’s (Balbuena) a no-nonsense, big, physical defender but I’ve come to the decision over the years that centre back is the hardest position to adjust to coming straight from South American football to the Premier League,” Vickery told talkSPORT.

“Some even better defenders than Balbuena have struggled with it a bit, I’m thinking specifically of (Gabriel) Paletta who came into Liverpool and really didn’t do well at all but ended up in Italy and doing so well that he played for Italy.

“Balbuena has been with Corinthians who are a very, very organised team… I’m a little bit worried for him taken out of that context, I’m a little bit worried that he might be a bit too ponderous in the Premier League.

“He’s not the quickest… he may just get found out a bit.”

But surely the tricky and fast Anderson, who has proven himself in Serie A and Europe with a big club in Lazio, would get Vickery’s backing? Think again.

“Felipe Anderson, I haven’t seen a great deal of him since he moved to Lazio. I saw a lot of him in Brazil coming up at 18, 19, 20 (years-old) at Santos,” Vickery added.

“I have to say his success in Italy surprised me a little bit because if I close my eyes and think about watching him with that Santos side with Neymar the memory I have is the coach just constantly yelling at him because he was a little bit of a dreamboat.

“He’s quick, he turns and spins very well, carries the ball very well, a lovely right foot, I think in a kind of 4,2,3,1 you could play him anywhere in that line of three backing up the main striker.

“Perhaps a little bit on the lightweight side for the Premier League, there’s a lot of ability here but this is a career-defining move for him.

“It’s going to be a big one for Pellegrini to get him to be consistent, there is talent there (but) if it was my club with £46 million I’m not convinced that I’d do it although he is in that great West Ham tradition of having those little flashes that get you up out of your seats.”

Time will tell whether Vickery has called it right over the South American duo.

West Ham fans will hoping he ends up with egg on his face.

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