With the World Cup on the horizon of the Brazilian shores, Big Sam and co will be looking to snap up as much talent as possible before players fees become extortionate based on performances throughout the tournament. But just who will be our marquee signing this season?
In June 2013 the David’s mentioned how they planned on making a marquee signing each year in hope of having a team full of superstars capable of performing in the Olympic Stadium. Last year West Ham managed to get Andy Carroll at a cut-price, with him signing a 6-year deal. Although in terms of goals he hasn’t stepped up to the mark, he has been pivotal to the approach play for the claret and blue army and you cannot fault him in his efforts. Many of the fans hope he will repay the favour, for the belief fans have bestowed upon him and help fire the Irons up the table.
In the last couple of days Sam Allerdyce has managed to pull off a real coup, signing last season’s top goal scorer in the Argentinian Premier League, Mauro Zarate from Velez Sarsfield on a free transfer. He tallied up a fine record, scoring 20 goals in all competitions. The last player to achive such a milestone at West Ham was Dean Ashton back in the 2007-08 season escoring 22 goals (20 goals in the Premier League).
The deal looked like it wasn’t going to happen when David Gold was quoted as saying a deal should be done earlier in the week, but nothing developed in the media front, causing panic on twitter feeds. However, behind closed doors the governors triggered the clause in Zarate’s contract (which allowed him to move clubs on a free, should a foreign club want to acquire his services) he himself then bought out the remainder of his contract, as well as help contribute funds for the development of a gym to help promote football in his home country. Could he be the “marquee signing” this season, even though he cost us nothing in transfer fees?
The Hammers (as always) have been linked with every name under the sun in only a matter of days. The likes of the former Manchester City veteran Gareth Barry, the dominating Cheikhou Kouyate of Anderlecht and free agents Jack Collback and Bafetimbi Gomis formerly at Sunderland and Lyon respectively, have all been linked to moves to the Boleyn Ground. Over the next couple of weeks there will be plenty of movement in the media discussing the possibilities of these transfers.
I for one hope Gomis and Kouyate are signed as quickly as possible. Both powerful and skilful players and would really improve the current squad.
In light of the mass amount of talented free agents lurking about in search of a new club, some tabloids and so called “ITK” have mentioned the possibility of two former hammers returning to finish their careers at their boyhood club. The names in question are that of former Manchester United centre-half Rio Ferdinand and the experienced Frank Lampard, whose Chelsea career is pretty much over, after being released by the club.
Pretty much every West Ham fan would have these two “golden generation” players back at the club in a heartbeat. The question is, would they come back?
If I was Lampard, I would not consider this move for a second. For years Hammers fans have dished out abuse from the terraces at the former Chelsea number 8. So unless he wants to put up with that stick for the remaining days of his football career, he is better off looking elsewhere. On the flip side he could see this as his chance to prove the doubters wrong and help and decide to where the famous claret and blue colours once more.
Rio, on the other hand looks like a more realistic target. When he left and joined Leeds back in 2000 for £18m he was still worshipped by hammers fans and everyone has always gave him respect, during his travels to Upton Park wearing the Red Devils crest of Manchester United.
The challenge in terms of getting him to sign the dotted line is of course the intense interest from other teams that wish to sign Ferdinand who still has another 3 seasons left in him yet. One team that has been considered to be interest is QPR due to their manager Harry Redknapp having a strong relationship with the player. They also have the funds to back the move up, but could a chance to hear the West Ham faithful chant his name once more sway him in our favour?
Either Lamps or Rio would certainly be a marquee signing, but they might just be out of our reach.
Who knows what names will be mentioned over the next couple of months and which rumours will prove to be true. All we know for certain is that the David’s are on a mission to improve the squad, as fans we can only wait patiently and trust their judgements.