In recent years West Ham United have developed something of a reputation as a club desiring glamour, prepared to go out and pay over the odds for big names, always looking to make a ‘splash’.
That’s a reputation that has been well deserved at times, but it’s one that no longer feels like a comfortable fit for the Hammers. Indeed, manager Manuel Pellegrini seems to be making a conscious effort to show how times have changed in east London.
His decision to allow veteran striker Javier Hernandez to leave the club on Monday is the latest example of that, opting to get rid of an underperforming big name despite the fact that his departure has left him with only two senior frontmen.
Even more revealing is Tuesday’s report from Football Insider which states that the Chilean has turned down a host of attacking free agent signings, because they are not of the quality required at the London Stadium.
When you look at the list of available free agent centre forwards, via Transfermarkt, you see that Pellegrini was spot on to rebuff their advances. Players like Wilfried Bony, Giuseppe Rossi and Emmanuel Emenike are examples of the sort of players the club may have targeted in the past, but no longer.
Indeed, Pellegrini appears to have learned from both West Ham’s history and his own mistakes. It was his decision to take a gamble on playmaker Samir Nasri at wages of £70,000-per-week in January [Source: Football London], while it was also he who authorised the baffling signing of striker Lucas Perez last summer at £80,000-per-week [Source: Spotrac].
Now, though, despite the lack of forwards at the club, he has resisted the urge to pull the trigger on a big name addition, a decision that shows the Chilean is cut from a different cloth than West Ham managers past.