West Ham United: Finding Value In This Crazy Transfer Window

It’s fair to say that this is fast becoming one of the craziest transfer windows ever in English football.

Teams are spending £75m on strikers, £50m on a fullback and £3om on a goalkeeper.

Obviously the higher TV revenues have found their way into the club’s bank accounts and most of them aren’t interested in watching that huge sum garner much in the way of interest.

But West Ham United have been fairly patient and very astute so far in this window.

Pablo Zabaleta was brought in on a free and he brings with him plenty of Premier League winning experience. They’ve also brought in England number one Joe Hart from Manchester City on loan, with the Hammers not paying a fee (they’ll cover Hart’s £5.5m yearly wage).

The London club have announced this week that they’ve agreed deals to bring in Stoke City’s Marko Arnautovic and hitman Javier Hernandez from Bayer Leverkusen.

All are very modest deals when you compare them to other transfers this summer and all should enhance the Hammer’s squad.

The Arnautovic deal will break the club’s transfer record when the £24m move is completed but they will be getting an Austrian international who has impressed in the Premier League in the last few years. He has bagged twenty goals in 125 league games.

Marko will offer plenty of versatility in the forward areas. Most fans will tell you West Ham could have done with that last season, especially after Dimitri Payet’s departure. The tall attacker prefers playing on the left and that could be advantageous to Slaven Bilic.

The big Austrian has that maverick quality Payet had, albeit Payet was more consistent in showing it. Marko has also proven that he has the ability to change Premier League games and that can be a valuable commodity.

As previously stated, Argentine defender Zabaleta will bring in experience and leadership. He won two league titles at Man City and has played over 200 times in England’s top flight. The thirty-two year old still gets up and down the wing well and always battles for his team!

Joe Hart has his critics and probably isn’t at the very top level of goalkeepers but I don’t believe he’s too far away. West Ham already have two good keepers in Darren Randolph and Adrian but I’m not sure they are great number ones, I’d say they’re very good back-ups. In Hart I think Bilic now has a strong number one.

I think the Javier Hernandez deal could be the best one for the Hammers. The twenty-nine year old has a history of scoring goals when he’s had a decent run of games in the first team. The Mexican sometimes struggled to get games at Manchester United and Real Madrid but that can happen at the biggest of sides.

At Bayer Leverkusen he has shown that he really does have a prolific quality in his game. In fifty-four Bundesliga appearances he banged in twenty-eight goals. In total he has thirty-nine strikes in seventy-six games for Die Werkself. 

The striker has a predatory instinct and tenacity that should endear him to the West Ham fans, who know the value of having a proven goalscorer. He’s the type of forward who makes smart runs and always seems to find himself in the right areas at the right time.

He will no doubt thrive with having Manuel Lanzini thread through balls for him to latch onto. He’d also work well with Arnautovic playing off him. If the Hammers can keep Andy Carroll fit then ‘Chicharito’ could be an ideal striking partner with the powerful frontman.

To get a proven striker of Hernandez’ stature for a fee between £13m – £16m could prove to be the bargain of the summer.

These smart signings show that West Ham are looking at bringing players with proven Premier League track-records and who won’t be easily fazed by anything that occurs during a long hard season.

I think Bilic, the West Ham board and the club’s supporters will have been disappointed by last season’s efforts. They seemed to be in a constant state of distraction in the last year.

The move to their new home was a distraction, the Payet saga was a major distraction, being knocked out of Europe early was a distraction and the lack putting together a decent run in the first half of the season was a worrying distraction.

To help with settling in at the London Stadium, they needed a big win to really get the fans on board That win finally came in early May against London rivals Spurs. That win should give them hope for this campaign.

I’m glad they haven’t been foolish and sacked Slaven or made wholesale changes to the squad.

They’ve also done really well in keeping their main stars.

Lanzini looks like a real player, who can unlock tight games. Winston Reid, in my opinion, is one of the best and most consistent defenders in the league. While Michail Antonio’s performances last term were good enough to get him England recognition, he seems to get better each year and will hope that trend continues this season.

I hope Robert Snodgrass gets another chance to prove himself in claret and blue. He had a difficult time of it since his January move. I still think he has ability and can prove effective from wide areas and with his set-pieces. Hopefully with a full pre-season under his belt and some renewed confidence the player can show his true qualities at the London Stadium.

West Ham seem to have identified the areas in which they needed to improve upon and have managed to get proven stars that can come straight into the side. They have also done this without spending rash amounts of cash.

If these new signings can prove themselves from the off then the Hammers will be hoping that their astuteness in the transfer market can also see them succeed on the pitch and climb back into the top ten!

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