Throughout the past two seasons, there has been an enormous influx of attacking talent at the London Stadium, in total, forwards and wingers have cost the club £154.71m. Despite the sizeable outlay on forward-thinking players, the Hammers have still found themselves fighting off relegation for the majority of this campaign. One more point would retain West Ham’s Premier League status, but it may not be enough to keep some stars in the capital, as the Hammers’ hierarchy and manager are reportedly planning a clear out.
One of the more surprising names who will reportedly be allowed to depart his summer is Felipe Anderson. The Brazilian was a statement signing at the beginning of last season, arriving for a then club-record £33.5m from Lazio. If the 25-year-old does leave the London Stadium this summer what will his West Ham legacy look like?
Anderson’s debut campaign could not have gone much better, and he finished the Premier League season on nine goals and four assists, which was an impressive start considering he was adapting to a new division. Furthermore, he has only registered double figures in the league once before, 2014/15 with Lazio where he recorded ten Serie A strikes, so almost equalling that haul straight off the bat was promising. Only Marko Arnautovic scored more Premier League goals last term, ten, epitomising the Brazilian’s immediate impact.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for this term. With the Irons struggling for form near the foot of the table Anderson has been incredibly goal-shy, registering eight fewer strikes than his debut campaign. His only Premier League goal came against fellow strugglers A.F.C Bournemouth and was the final blow in a 4-0 thrashing.
To his credit, Anderson has remained consistent creatively, providing four assists in both his seasons in England. Still, he has failed to hit the heights he displayed in Italy, where he previously set up nine goals in 2016/17.
If he does depart this summer, it appears inevitable that Anderson’s stint at the London Stadium will be remembered as a tale of two halves. The Brazilian had offered a significant initial promise without delivering the goals when West Ham needed him most this term.
After this woeful campaign, should a suitor be found for Anderson, he may not live long in the memory of the Hammers, at least for the right reasons. Should he stay, the 25-year-old can yet turn his spell in the Premier League around. However, if Anderson goes, his strike rate of 0.17 will likely be more memorable than the goals he scored.