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West Ham’s most impressive business for years

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It’s been almost a week since the summer transfer window slammed shut, and thus far, Hammers fans have seemed largely impressed with the business that took place and deals that were completed. Unlike recent windows, the club adopted a different approach this summer, opting to target mostly younger players seemingly with a view of building for the future, and pending Olympic Stadium switch. Here is an overview and a few thoughts on each of the players brought to E13 over the past couple of months.

Cheikhou Kouyate – £7million

Having signed from Belgian giants Anderlecht, Kouyate has been thoroughly impressive in the early stages of this season, and looks to be an absolute bargain at £7million. A powerful, well rounded midfielder with the ability to not only marshall and offer security to the back four, but also drive at the opposition and offer real power going forward. At just 24, Cheikhou’s days are still ahead of him and I look forward to him hopefully being a success in East London for years to come.

Mauro Zarate – Undisclosed

A signing that raised a few eyebrows amongst supporters, considering the fact the Argentinian has gone from featuring for Italian giants Inter Milan, to returning to his home nation and a lower standard of football at boyhood club, Velez Sarsfield. Nonetheless, since joining the Hammers Zarate has also been impressive, adding extra craft and flair to the side and scoring an impressive volley away at Crystal Palace. The absence of Kevin Nolan will hopefully allow Zarate to express himself and nail down a first team place.

Diego Poyet – Undisclosed

Son of Sunderland manager Gus, Diego Poyet is seemingly one for the future at Upton Park. Having claimed Charlton’s player of the award last season, the midfielder was quickly snapped up by the board and thus far, looks very calm, composed and efficient in possession in the middle of the park. I am sure loan spells away from the club will be on the cards for Diego as he looks for regular first team football, but ultimately looks like a promising talent with a long and hopefully successful career ahead of him with us.

Enner Valencia – £12million

The club’s most expensive transfer of the summer was the capture of Ecuador striker, Enner Valencia. Following an impressive World Cup, scoring 3 goals in 3 games, the Hammers moved quickly to secure the striker’s signature. Valencia’s contributions have thus fur, been limited to substitute and Capital One cup appearances, and supporters have only seem a glimpse of the Ecuadorian’s abilities. Nonetheless, Valencia undoubtedly offers us an alternative to, or perhaps even partner for Andy Carroll once he returns. At £12million, a hefty price tag – hopefully one the striker can begin to repay with goals.

Aaron Cresswell – £3million

Personally, I had not heard of Cresswell until his transfer from Ipswich was announced but I must admit I have been very impressed by the left back’s performances in a West Ham shirt. After doing some research I understood Cresswell was held in high regard at Portman Road and showed real promise last season – it’s fair to say he has continued that form into the early stages of this campaign. Cresswell offers us another outlet going forward, as well as being sound defensively and is a terrific piece of business at a mere £3million at 24 years of age.

Diafra Sakho – £4.5million

A striker who scored 40 goals in two seasons, whatever the division, was always going to be appealing for a team who have struggled for goals since returning to the Premier League. Early indications would suggest that Sakho looks a real handful and will trouble defences throughout this campaign. Having scored against Sheffield United in the cup, Sakho looks a very physical forward with a real presence, and also at just 24 years of age, could prove a hit for the Hammers for years to come.

Morgan Amalfitano – Undisclosed

The deadline day capture of Amalfitano rounded off a great transfer window very well. Having spent a season on loan at West Brom from Marseille last season, the wide midfielder has joined the Hammers after falling out of favour at the French side. Morgan put in some impressive performances last season, scoring an impressive solo effort at Old Trafford and a superb strike against Cardiff. A midfielder with the ability to directly run at defences will prove great competition for places for Stewart Downing, Matt Jarvis and Ricardo Vaz Te, and will hopefully bring out the best in each of them.

Alex Song and Carl Jenkinson – Season-Long Loans:

The capture of Alex Song from Barcelona is undoubtedly an absolute coup for the club, and perhaps the signing I am most pleased with. A midfielder of Song’s ability and reputation is something the club simply couldn’t turn down, and I look forward to seeing the Cameroon international in a West Ham shirt. Similarly to Aaron Cresswell, the loan signing of Arsenal’s Carl Jenkinson offers the Hammers a full back with the ability to attack as well as defend. Despite picking up a knock in a pre-season match, I am sure the Englishman will prove to be a shrewd piece of business and a success at Upton Park this season.

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3 comments
  • Simon says:

    Very impressive signings this summer – and yet Vaz Te, CCole, OBrien, Nolan, Demel are key players for Sam – and lets be really honest, none of these players jump off the page and scream top half finish, the opposite imo, but between 2 – 4 of them could be first team selection at any given time under Sam – no point wondering why hammers continue to be inconsistent when personnel and tactics are basically the same – for the life of me i have absolutely no idea how CCole and Vaz Te are at the club let alone get a game, Nolan i can understand being there as captain but how he gains selection over new signings is another baffler – Demel and Obrien should have gone this summer and better options brought in, didnt happen and being light in defence as we are is why they are still options, although if Jenkinson and Cresswell stay fit then i dont expect either of them to get a game – however, that all depends on Sam doesnt it – judging by the way hes handled the first few games of the season he doesnt really seem to have changed his tune does he, i find it hard to understand how Valencia at 12 mil sits out games for CCole, he can play 90 mins for his country but not for Sam in the PL, Sakho is another getting minimal game time – christ we couldnt give CCole away, no one wants him, Bournmouth maybe, but Cole isnt stupid is he knowing his salary would slump to nowhere if he ever left his current contract at west ham – simple truth is Sam cannot get away from his blinkered tactics, his one up front strategy, which by the way with CCole is a waste of time anyway as he clearly is unable to function under that format, not that his functions are adequate in the first place under any format – we saw Diame sitting on the bench watching, like the rest i of us, Vaz Te be completely obsolete, hes gone now obviously mostly because Sam played him all over the shop when he did get a game, but Sam is the one who stated its important west ham get off to a good start – the point is our better players are sitting out whilst Sam is selecting our most inconsistent – Spurs we were unlucky but Sam did himself no favours with decisions, or lack of, that cost us dearly in the end, Palace we were good value but they were that bad the result shouldnt have been in doubt, but we also know had Nolan been fit then Zarate, who was outstanding in the game, wouldnt have even got a game, and the Saints, well we best forget about that one as from management to players it was disgraceful – my issue is i believe we are still papering over the cracks, with the biggest being our manager and his incapability to see or use the quality under his nose at the expense of continuing playing tactics you expect under his guidance with players we know cant deliver with any expectation – when you compare west ham to a club like Everton who, with a similar budget, have been a far more accomplished side and for many years, the only difference between them is management, from there you get tactical knowledge and the players/squad to meet the task at hand – im not saying west ham need to employ David Moyes, although imo he is a better manager than Sam regardless, im actually a big fan of Bilic to be honest, but at the end of the day S&G are going to have to question their own motivations for the club – they want what we all want, growth, stability in the top flight, Europe (one day) and maybe the odd cup once in a while – Sam will give us safety, thats almost a given, but will he really deliver much more – i dont think so, i just cant see it – i look at the squad this year and am the most optimistic as i have been for what seems like an eternity about our progress, but then i look at the team sheet with the usual suspects under Sams game plan and ask myself what is going on – i mean we havent spent this much on so many personnel with youth and quality about them ever, and its great, except most of it is either sitting on the bench or watching from the stands, probalt thinking like the rest of us WTF – i think Sam has done a great job to get us where we are now, but we need to push on, and i dont believe Sam is the man to do that – i know some will read this and see the whining moaning fan ranting, i dont really care, i call it as i see it, as others do in their own views, and week in week out i will continue to support, scream, shout, live and die by what this club deliver me each and every time, i was born into claret and blue, its in my blood, its the proverbial rollercoaster i never intend to get off.

  • notanyoldiron says:

    On ‘paper’ it certainly is the best transfer business in recent memory. But let’s not get carried away……yet. The 9 players are mixed bag. Some relatively unknown, some experienced, some showing promise. And they need bedding in. Trial and error will be involved. It will be a few months before we see the result of the purchases I reckon. And we
    have to wait and see what happens when Nolan and Carroll are fit. Interesting.
    I don’t agree with Simon regarding Everton’s expenditure. In recent years they have spent relatively large amounts in comparison to us.
    I’m quietly confident about our season.

  • ian says:

    It doesn’t matter that we’ve bought good players we have a piss poor manager that refuses to play them or change his pathetic game strategy

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