West Ham earned plenty of plaudits for their summer transfer activity and looked to have bolstered their squad significantly with the captures of Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta, Javier Hernandez and Marko Arnautovic, but it hasn’t transferred directly into improvements on the field.
The Hammers have seven points to their name from the opening seven matches, winning just twice this season- with the most recent victory being a largely fortunate one, as the Hammers limped over the line to emerge victorious over Swansea City at the London Stadium.
It’s no secret that West Ham wanted to get further signings through the door in the close-season, with the collapse of a deal for Sporting Lisbon ace William Carvalho being well publicised, but The Daily Star has lifted the lid on another failed deal from the recent transfer window.
The deal in question concerns SPAL defender Francesco Vicari, who has caught the eye in the Serie A this season after some fine performances for the newly-promoted Italian minnows. Had the Hammers had their way though, he would have instead been plying his trade in East London.
West Ham enquired about the services of Vicari, along with Genoa and Sassuolo, but were told in no uncertain terms by SPAL that the defender would not be leaving. Because of that, the Hammers elected not to make a formal bid and, as such, rising interest in Vicari may have left them out of the running altogether.
Capped at both U20 and U21 levels by Italy, Vicari’s stock is rapidly rising and the asking price from SPAL is likely to be rising too. Rather than trying a punt for the player, West Ham elected to largely ignore bolstering their defence, excluding the capture of Zabaleta, and have struggled as a result.
West Ham’s decision to move for experienced Premier League names was certainly a good move but it means they’re lacking in talented, upcoming players- which, for a club like West Ham, is crucial to their development.
Had they landed Vicari, West Ham defence would not only be stronger but would also have the ability to improve and grow. That is something West Ham’s ageing back-line lacks, particularly as the club make a decision to send Reece Oxford on-loan to Borussia Monchengladbach; with the young English defender yet to make his debut for the Bundesliga outfit.