Adrian – Goalkeeper – Signed from Real Betis on a free
Adrian certainly has the physique to be a top keeper in the Barclays Premier League but I do feel that the Spaniard has been brought in as cover for Jussi for the 2013/14 season with a view to a more permanent footing in the side as the Finnish veteran looks set for retirement. Without seeing him feature too many times for the club, I feel like his acquisition is a good bit of business with the saving of a transfer fee a key factor in bringing Adrian to Upton Park.
Razvan Rat – Left Back – Signed from Shakhtar Donestk on a free
This is a fantastic bit of business from West Ham. The experienced Romanian has great qualities that I’m sure will make him a hit with the claret and blue faithful. With George McCartney’s increasing injury problems, a left footed full back needed to be brought in to provide solidity and balance to our defence. With Champions League experience where he came up against some of the best wingers in world football, Rat can bring a continental and technical side to an already sturdy back line. Picking up such a gifted player and bubbly character in the changing rooms on a free transfer can only be seen as great business from the Chairmen.
Andy Carroll – Striker – Signed from Liverpool for £15million
Whether Andy Carroll is worth the £15million price tag remains to be seen but I think this is another good piece of transfer activity from the club. The Newcastle born striker is 24 years of age and could be a dominant fixture in the West Ham side for many years to come. In today’s current climate, £15million for a 20 goals-a-season striker is relatively cheap. Whether big Andy can shake off his injury problems and score those 20 goals is another matter. However, I think it’s his assists and general bullying of the opposition centre halves that makes him a frightful prospect. We all saw in his original debut against Fulham last season that when Andy Carroll is up for the fight and the service is sufficient, he can cause big problems. The great thing about Carroll is that the crosses do not necessarily have to be planted on his head as he attacks the ball very well. For me, the jury is still out on whether this will be good business for West Ham but if his performances last season, little as there were, are to go by, his signature will be considered a success.
Stewart Downing – Winger – Signed from Liverpool for an undisclosed figure
Although the final fee agreed between the two clubs has yet to be made public, the figure is thought to be around £5-6million. If that is the case then it’s another great signing for West Ham as just over two years ago, the English winger was making the move to Merseyside for a massive £20million. Much has been said about Big Sam’s direct approach but I think the signing of Downing is a very intelligent one. At Bolton, Allardyce began stabilising a yoyo club into a consistently hard to beat Premier League side. He then added flair to the strong outfit by signing the likes of Jay-Jay Okocha and French international Youri Djorkaeff. This worked well for the Trotters and with the likes of Stewart Downing coming in, could work well for the Hammers too.
Whether we sign that all important second striker for cover for Andy Carroll and Modibo Maiga or not, I still believe that with the signings we’ve already made and the return of Alou Diarra and Ravel Morrison into the midfield, the Hammers can look back at a successful summer’s dealings with great fondness.
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