West Ham United transfers and squad analysis
There is a lot to look forward to and get excited about for a West Ham fan right now, the new stadium which is getting closer and closer every day, and also the interesting and ambitious new signings that have been brought in to the team.
The current first team squad is looking to be our strongest for quite some time, the new recruits have been a breath of fresh air, we’ve signed players with real ability, flair, skill which all makes it exiting to them play for our great club. Hopefully this is the start of something much better, leaving the days of buying Luis Boa Morte type players and instead looking at Payet and Song caliber of players.
The 2 owners promised the fans investment into the club and that has been fulfilled with an additional 12 players being brought in over the past summer transfer window.
The first of those to come in was goalkeeper Darren Randolph who joined from Birmingham City on a free transfer, he will be the cover for Adrian and as we have seen already he looks to be up to the task despite some early doubt.
Having the addition of Bilic and Dicks to the West Ham staff, both of which were defenders in their playing days this was one area we knew would be looked at carefully. One of the best right backs in the league last season has rejoined us on another 1 year loan, here’s hoping we get him permanently next time around or we will have a big gap to cover up once he’s gone. A player that will provide some full back cover at left back is Stephen Hendrie who again came in as a free transfer having agreed a pre contract whilst at Hamiltion Academical.
Italian international Angelo Ogbonna was another new arrival for a moderate fee of around £8 million pounds, a very experienced centre back having won several major honours for Juventus in Serie A, and representing Italy’s national team on the highest stages. He will most certainly help to us to keep clean sheets which can be the foundation for a great win.
This area of the team was improved more than the rest with 5 new players coming in. The first of those 5 is Alex Song who also rejoins on another season loan having impressed a lot of people with his performances last season. His experience will be vital on the field and off as he can help out the younger players such as Oxford.
The second Serie A player to arrive at the Boleyn was Pedro Obiang for a rumoured £5 million pounds, having spent a good 5 years with Sampdoria the young Spaniard had a very successful season last year which prompted interest from all around the world. From what we have seen from him so far he will be a good player to have around, good vision and very calm when in possession of the ball.
Another loan player is Chelsea’s Victor Moses who has a 1 year loan at the hammers, if he plays as he did for Stoke City last season he will also be a good player to have in and around the first team either to start or as an impact player.
One of the more exiting transfers was Michail Antonio who joins from Nottingham forest for around £7 million pounds, considering the market for English players at the moment and him being one of the best in the championship last season that price tag seems a real bargain. He has a great record for forest and certainly has the right attributes that are needed if you are to be a success in this very tough league. His pace and strength will add to what the team already has.
Understandably one of the least hyped transfers was for Martin Samuelsen, a very bright young player who was brought in from the Manchester City youth team, the 18 year old is one for the future and looks to be a very good investment.
The last midfielder to be bought and arguably the best of the signings was Dimitri Payet for again a bargain price of just over £10 million pounds. Last season he was up there with the likes of Messi in terms of chances created and assists made. Since he left France there have been many people saying how much of a loss he will be for their league, let’s just hope he is a massive gain for ours, with only 4 games gone, it already looks like he will do just fine.
With players like Sakho and Valencia already at the club this wasn’t the most important area to improve on. That being said we still managed to add a few names to the list, the first of them is Jelavic who cost around £3 million pounds from relegated Hull city, not the most glamorous of buys but in reality he is just replacing Maiga who left during this window. The Croatian has worked with Bilic before when he was the national teams manager, maybe that will work in his favour in getting him to his best form.
Someone who not many had heard of before this summer, apart from Bilic who has been chasing this guy for quite some time. Manuel Lanzini is the man who Bilic has finally managed to bring to the club he is at, the deal is an initial 1 year loan but has the option to buy on a permanent basis. Bilic seems to like this guy a lot and from what we’ve seen so far it looks like the fans will too especially if he can put in performances like he did against Liverpool in our historic win at Anfield.
One last player I want to give a quick mention to is Mauro Zarate, although he didn’t sign this window he barely got given a chance last season so this time around he is almost like a new player to our team, no doubt he has the ability, but it’s now down to him to prove that he deserves the second chance.
In terms of players that left West Ham this transfer window there wasn’t too many that
we will be saddened about. One that we will and Bilic certainly is, was Stewart Downing who went back to his boyhood club despite the efforts in trying to keep him with us. Guy Demel, Jussi Jaaskelainen, Carlton Cole and Nene were all released from the club after they were seen as not needed. Lastly Matthew Jarivs joined Norwich city on a season long loan during a hectic deadline day.
In what was already going to be a very emotional and exiting season, these transfers have made even more so, and hopefully will help to make it a very successful last season at the famous Boleyn Ground.