Written by Malcolm Atkins @malatk
Thought I would pitch in with my thoughts about the window so far. I was delighted with the arrival of Pellegrini, a proven manager who likes to play attacking football, he seems exactly what we need. Someone who can attract players and provide the type of football West Ham fans have been asking for. I am also pleased that he has got the director of football he wanted, a clear sign he is being taken seriously by the board.
So to players; rumours of a 75 million pound budget abounded and were met with a mixture of approval and cynicism on social media. I don’t think the budget itself is the thing to focus on. Its quality signings which give a balanced side with good back up in the squad, and most of all getting a side this manger is content with. The price is not really the issue; Dmitri Payet was 10.7 million – if we signed five players for that price that were his quality and had his impact and we would probably challenge for the title Andre Ayew was twice the price at 20.5 million, five at that price and with that impact and we would probably be in the championship and in deep trouble financially!
I am so pleased that the transfer business has begun at the back. So often the focus has been on a creative player or a striker, as well as several wingers, meanwhile we have leaked loads of goals and never looked solid. Fabianski is a solid addition, I am certain Adrian will be off but suspect we will sign a younger keeper with Fab starting in the side. He struggled at Arsenal but has been solid in recent seasons and is a real upgrade in my opinion. Fredericks arriving on a free has received a mixed reaction, yes he is a free and not played in premier league but he is a good young player with pace. Our team last season was too old and too slow, Right back has been an issue for years with Zabaleta being the best for some time but clearly his pace is in decline. Fredericks is a great signing. Diopp too is a really exciting signing for me, young, athletic, powerful and already a captain, we have so often lacked a leader at the back. If Mawson does join as well we will have a younger stronger revamped defence. I feel we will be in better shape at the back than we have been since Bilic was playing.
I have to confess I don’t know much about Anderson. Apparently he is really quick and that would certainly be welcome. 37 million quid is still a big fee – if the board have offered that then it has to be a sign of real progress. If it is turned down, many will scream just pay what they want. Well I think you have to stop somewhere, the key is the manager needs to make the decision based on what money is available for the remaining signings. I thinks fans would live with a decision being made that funds could be better spent elsewhere, (personally I would love to see a bid for Loftus Cheek) the problem the board have created is when deals for Lacazette, Bacca et al have not worked out they have not been replaced by other targets, the money supposedly earmarked for these players has just disappeared. This has damaged trust. I hope and believe things are changing but I will judge it all at the end of the window.
I think the club will spend far more heavily this summer, not least because I believe further investment is imminent. I am convinced Tripp Smith will be involved in bringing funds / investors into the club. He leaves his role at Blackstone finance at the end of the month. I think we may hear more after that, I have said before, this guy is not investing for fun.
Jack Wilshire is being touted, if his wages are reasonable and we also sign a creative midfielder he could be a great asset but with his injury record and our injury curse I really would not want him to be intrinsic to the plan for next season.
We also need another striker, especially as I am far from convinced Chicarito will be committed to the cause and nobody thinks Carroll will stay fit.
All in all a fantastic star to the window, however when Chica, Arnie, Zab and Hart signed it looked like progress was being made but then Carvalho fell through and nobody else came in and suddenly the optimism disappeared. In a nut shell, get Mawson and Anderson or use the funds elsewhere and we will be happy, if they do not sign and the signings we have made are all we get and we will not have done enough