When West Ham made the cross-London move from the beloved Boleyn Ground, to the much larger London Stadium, there was a hope world class players would be attracted to the Hammers. Fans have been speculating a potential swoop on Anthony Martial, but the reality has been far less exciting. The first of the disappointments came back in the summer when they completed a loan deal for Simone Zaza from Juventus. Granted he is a big name in Europe, but for all the wrong reasons. His infamous penalty against the Germans in Euro 2016, led to the Italians being booted out of the tournament, and Zaza being the subject of a number of running-man inspired memes. Unsurprisingly, the striker was a flop in the Premier League and people could be forgiven for forgetting that he even wore claret and blue in the first place.
Fast forward to January of this year and West Ham made a £10million bid for Brentford striker, Scott Hogan. A quality goal scorer and a player I’ve personally tried to sign a number of times on Football Manager, Hogan looks to be a hot prospect. However the Championship player isn’t the target many people were expecting Slaven Bilic to be chasing. The deal ultimately fell through, and although he could be a key Premier League player in the future, he was unlikely to ever be the man to immediately change the Hammers fortunes.
West Ham are continuing to investigate possibilities by which to strengthen their strike force and made two more failed bids, this time for Jermaine Defoe and Robert Snodgrass. Again, not world class players but a 34 year-old and, well, Robert Snodgrass. The head of finances at the East London club really should be looked at, because teams in the midst of a relegation battle aren’t going to part with their star players for a measly £3 million or £6 million. Sunderland have announced Defoe is not for sale this window, as they would literally not be able to find the back of the net without him. Snodgrass seemed to be a decent enquiry, as set piece specialist Dimitri Payet is likely to be warming the bench at an actual top European club, by the end of the month. The Hull City man can produce a deadly free kick and is capable of winning a penalty by any means possible (that’s one for the Crystal Palace fans).But again a bid, that was considerably less than the one they made for a Championship player, was certainly not going to be accepted.
The transfer strategies at West Ham have been somewhat laughable since they’ve moved home, but I’m prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt. Soon enough West Ham fans will be treated to deals being done and big name signings. I’m predicting the first one will be Peter Crouch at a cost of around £1 million. But no matter what happens, at least Bilic will be able to sleep at night knowing he didn’t sign Joey Barton.