Did West Ham United Have A Good Transfer Window?
Posted by James Jones | Published on September 4, 2016
Now the summer transfer window has finally come to a close after a mind-blowing £1.7 billion was spent, a world record fee was broken along with most Premier League clubs breaking their personal record fee’s too, it’s time to have a look at the business the board at West Ham United have been slaving away at all summer!
After coming from behind to beat Manchester United 3-2 in dramatic fashion in the final game to be played at The Boleyn ground on the evening on 10th May, a lot has happened for West Ham United Football Club. The major change is the new London Stadium with a capacity of 60,000 rising to 66,000 which like Marmite, everyone seems to either love or hate it.
Before I even start to discuss the new signings David Sullivan, David Gold and the board behind the scenes worked tirelessly on all summer long, Sullivan even continued to work on signings the same day after heart surgery, I believe some of our best ‘Summer Signings’ were already wearing Claret + Blue. Many first team players signed new long-term deals, with a number of youth players penning deals to keep them at the club for the foreseeable future.
Michail Antonio, Darren Randolph, Dimitri Payet, Aaron Cresswell, Cheikhou Kouyate and Adrian San Miguel all of which have been key players in the spine of West Ham last season signed new long-term deals keeping them at the club until 2020/2021 at the earliest. Following that, a handful of promising players that will be sure to be in the first team in the next year or so also signed new long-term deals, Martin Samuelsen, Reece Burke and Josh Cullen are the pick of the bunch, with rumours still going around that Reece Oxford may also be signing a new deal after taking time to decide on his future.
Before the transfer window had even opened officially on the 1st July, it was heavily rumoured that Sofiane Feghouli from Valencia and Havard Nordtveit from Borussia Monchengladbach would join the club on free transfers. Both players indeed joined The Hammers in July and took part in the pre-season tour of America.
Sofiane Feghouli – Valencia
After impressing fans on his competitive debut for the club in the Europa League clash with Domzale, Feghouli scored the final goal in the 3-0 win following Kouyate’s brace also picked up an injury but should be back in action after the international break. I’m confident Sofiane will be playing a great deal of games for West Ham this season if he can recover from injury, his movement will be key when playing alongside Dimitri Payet and Manuel Lanzini and in doing so will grab a handful of goals with a tally of assists come to the end of the season. Considering he didn’t cost a penny in transfer fee’s, he’s got the potenial to be one of the signings of the season. My Rating 8/10
Havard Nordtveit – Borussia Monchengladbach
Nordtveit also picked up a small knock but is back and fighting for his place in Slaven Bilic’s newly improved West Ham squad. I personally believe in the games I’ve seen so far, Havard will have to adapt to the faster paced English game despite making a number of interceptions in the minutes he’s played already to cement his place in the starting 11, but is a decent player to have as cover, and like Sofaine didn’t cost us a penny in fee’s either. My Rating 6/10
Ashley Fletcher – Manchester United
The 20-year old England striker joined us on a free transfer from Manchester United after a successful loan spell at Barnsley last season scoring 9 goals in 26 appearances, most notably scoring the opening goal in the 3-1 victory in the play-off final against Millwall. Fletcher travelled with the squad on pre-season and settled in rather quickly scoring 3 goals in 4 appearances. The youngster was once regarded higher ranked than Marcus Rashford in the youth ranks before appearing out of nowhere making a name for himself, so he has the ability to become a name for himself and he’s already started to show it. Although he hasn’t scored in a competitive game for The Hammers just yet, from what we’ve seen from him in the Europa League and the Premier League clash with Manchester City recently, he’s full of energy, he’s not afraid to take on defenders and will shoot whenever he feels he’s in a goal scoring position. As West Ham are always plagued with injuries to key players, Fletcher should get a fair few games under his belt this season, and hopefully be scoring a few too! My Rating 7/10
Edmilson Fernandes – FC Sion
West Ham signed the 20-year old Switzerland International midfielder for a fee of £5.5m from Swiss side FC Sion. Edmilson played over 60 games for FC Sion’s first team, and over 40 for their U-21’s. I personally don’t know that much about Fernades but he seems to be a player for the future, that might break into the team when injruies occur. He played his 2nd game for Switzerland U-21’s recently and scored a 30-yard screamer in the 3-0 win against Kazakhstan. He’s the younger cousin of former Manchester City midfielder Gelson Fernandes and ex-Sunderland Cabral. My Rating 5/10
Manuel Lanzini – Al Jazira Club
After a very impressive loan spell last season, West Ham managed to secure the permant signing of 23-year old Argentina International Manuel Lanzini who cost less than £10m. Early into his loan spell the club decided they was going to sign the midfeilder on a permant basis, but they had competion from Liverpool. Lanzini, like Dimitri Payet creats chances every single game and the players around them both seem to play better when either are playing. Lanzini’s deal was actaully agreed before the transfer window opened but still counts as a signing from this particular window. My Rating 9/10
Arthur Masuaku – Olympiacos
Following th injury to first team left-back Aaron Creswell who had played virtually every single Premier League game for The Hammers since he joined the club back in 2014 until recently picking up an injury in a pre-season game in the dying moments from a wreckless challenge. Masuaku was brought in to cover Aaron while he nursed his injury, but to the surprise to many fans, Arthur has been rather good and hasn’t really put a foot wrong as of yet. With what seems two great left-back options when Cresswell is back to full fitness, it will be interesting to see who gets the nod each week. My Rating 7/10
Gokan Tore – Besiktas
After being linked with the Turkish International since the day Slaven Bilic took over as manager, Bilic finally got his man on loan from his old club Besiktas with a £5m fee. There is no question about how highly Bilic rates the 24-year old winger and it was only a matter of persuading the board to fund the move to bring him to East London. Gokhan likes to dribble with the ball and often goes for a shot from distance. So far from what I’ve seen of Tore at West Ham he needs to work on his strength if he wants to be considered in the starting line-up every weekend. He’s found himself taking corners recently and they are borderline terrible, despite being a good crosser in open play with an assist already to his name. My Rating 6/10
Jonathon Calleri – Sao Paulo
It was clear from the moment last season ended West Ham wanted to sign a striker to bolster their attacking front, despite being the 4th highest scoring team last term. The highly rated 22-year old striker was brought in on loan from Brazil. Making his debut in the Europa League, Calleri has already produce a handful of chances to score his first goal for The Hammers but hasnt been successful just yet. He does look promising though, he’s stong in the air duirng ariel battles and has decent finishing. I believe once he breaks his duck he will continue to score a bunch of goals this season if he gets enough oppurtunity to do so of course. My Rating 7/10
Andre Ayew – Swansea City
Andre became our record signing when he joined The Hammers for £20.5 million, breaking the previous record signing Andy Carroll. I was most looking forward to this signing out of them all at the time the rumours started to circulating around, most of all seeing the Dimitri Payet + Andre Ayew link up play that was well known for Marseille. Unfortunately 33 minutes into Ayew’s debut against Chelsea, he picked up a nasty injury in which put him out of acton for around 4 months, although it looks like he will be back by the end of next month. Obviously it’s hard to rate someone we spent so much money on and has/will miss a fairly large portion of the season but I believe when he’s back and fit he will be a regular starter for sure and will provide goals wherever he is played across the attacking front. My Rating 8/10
West Ham was delighted to confirm the signing of outstanding young Portuguese forward Domingos Quina. The exciting former Benfica schoolboy has recently been crowned a UEFA European U17 champion, with West Ham beating some of Europe’s leading sides to the 16-year-old’s signature, and has agreed terms to sign a professional contract on his 17th birthday in November. Quina will mostly play in West Ham’s accademy which has brought many famous player through their ranks over the years, until he’s ready for the first team. Domingos has already made his full West Ham debut in the Europa League and looked full of energy, deserpate to prove himself. My Rating 6/10
Toni Martinez – Valencia
The Spanish 19-year old striker was brought in for a fee of around £2.5 million from Valenica on July 1st but Toni had already been training with West Ham for aperiod of time before that. Martinez has hit the ground running at West Ham featuring in a number of games for the development squad socirng 4 goals in 5 games most recently scoring a brace againsty Coventry in the cup. Toni certainly has an eye for goal and has already scored over 100 goals over 4 seasons in Valencia’s youth system. It’s rumoured Toni could be given his chance to appear in the first team after the international break after continuing to impress in training. My rating 7/10
Arvalo Arbeloa – Real Madrid
The ex-Real Madrid and ex-Liverpool Spanish right-back Arbeloa joined The Hammers on transfer deadline day, sort of out of nowhere! It was clear for some weeks that we needed to sign another right-back as it seemed Slaven Bilic wasn’t confident in Sam Byram’s ability although when covering left-back he done the job with ease. Not many players have an honours list as long as your arm, but Arbeloa certainly does. The two time Champions League winner, two time European Championship and World Cup winner with Spain right-back is a much welcome addition for many reasons. Not only will his qualities mean he will fit into the first team once match fitness is up to scratch, his exerpeience will do the younger players in the squad the world of good, giving the like of Byram much neede competition for that spot in the first team. More importantly this will see the back of Slaven Bilic playing Michail Antonio in the defensive role in which he’s not suited. My Rating 8/10
Simone Zaza – Juventus
Finally, after much speculation on who would be brought in to bolster our attacking options, Zaza was signed on a season long loan that would trigger a permantent £26 million deal after a certain amount of apperances, which is believed to be around 16. Simone has recently been in the limelight after that famous run up that lead to him missing in the penalty shoot out at Euro 2016 for Italy. It’s reported Zaza is dying to get started for West Ham and will go stright into the line-up to face Watford. It’s also so said that Zaza has many additonal terms in his contract, which David Sullivan described as one of the hardest deals to finalise, that will spur him on to do well and score plenty of goals for the East Londoners. My Rating 7/10
So to conclude I feel that West Ham United’s board done rather well in the transfer window. I know alot of fans feel ‘dissapointed’ in the fact we didn’t sign a marquee striker, but we have spent over £40m on two forwards in Ayew and Zaza once he triggers his permanent clause. It’s been confirmed by Lyon’s president that he rejected a £43 million bid for Lacazette, and the player has recently picked up a long term inury! Michy Batshuyai was reportdelty close to signing for West Ham, but chose Chelsea when they approached him, and who can blame him. I will also end by saying keeping hold of our Hammer of The Year Dimitri Payet is like signing a marquee signing after fans of all clubs around the world and even most West Ham fans thought he would be on the move after a very impressive debut season in the Premier League.