West Ham new boys lacking the class of previous signings
PUBLISHED: 11:00 12 October 2016
Our West Ham Correspondent assesses the impact of the Hammers new intake
Last season West Ham saw the arrival of Dimitri Payet, Manuel Lanzini, Michail Antonio, Angelo Ogbonna, Pedro Obiang and Nikica Jelavic – well, five out of six ain’t bad!
The previous summer it was the likes of Cheikhou Kouyate, Aaron Cresswell, Enner Valencia and Diafra Sakho who joined the club.
All made key contributions to the West Ham cause and hit the ground running, but it would seem that the newest recruits have not made the same impact.
It is a worrying trend and one that has certainly hampered the Hammers in their poor start to the new season.
“They are all good players and they will click,” insisted manager Slaven Bilic.
“We chose those players and they will help improve the team.
“We didn’t want to change the team too much. But they are good players and they will click, they can improve our team. We have to help them as a team to settle in.”
There are bold words from Bilic, but there is little evidence of the new boys making a positive difference just yet.
Of the new recruits, record £20million signing Andre Ayew can be absolved from blame as he only played half an hour at Chelsea before a thigh injury.
But of the rest, there is very little to write home about.
Most disappointing has been Italy international striker Simone Zaza. Club owner David Sullivan said it was the trickiest deal he has ever put together, but he needn’t have bothered.
It has been said that if Zaza plays 15 games for the Hammers it will trigger a permanent deal and West Ham will have to pay another £20million for the player.
So far he hasn’t even looked like scoring and is finding the West Ham style of play difficult. Come back Andy Carroll!
Wingers Gokhan Tore and Sofiane Feghouli have struggled too, despite the wide expanses of the pitch at the London Stadium.
Bilic is a big fan of Besiktas loanee Tore, but few fans are of the same thinking following some lacklustre displays.
Feghouli has flattered to deceive with one good half followed by one anonymous or disastrous one.
Havard Nordtveit arrived on a free with a big reputation, but the Norway international has failed to impress.
He is a versatile player, but so far he has shown to be mediocre in lots of positions and he is certainly no better than Pedro Obiang, who has just returned to the starting line-up.
Edimilson Fernandes looked good against Accrington, but hasn’t been given a proper chance yet, while young striker Jonathan Calleri may have been given too many. He has failed to impress and does not look like scoring a goal, whereas Ashley Fletcher is more promising, but still goalless.
On the plus side, Arthur Masuaku came in for the injured Aaron Cresswell and looked good until his disaster at West Brom and injury in the League Cup.
And Alvaro Arbeloa looks like he may have solved West Ham’s right-back problem when he is fully match-fit.
They say that a club has to strengthen every season to move forward and if they don’t then they go backwards.
But it seems after two seasons of success in the transfer market, things may have gone wrong.
However, injuries have not helped the cause, neither has moving to the London Stadium and the new recruits may have been caught up in all that.
Ayew can still come good when he returns, but he may be the only one of the new boys to make it.
Marks out of 10
Arthur Masuaku 6
Edimilson Fernandes 6
Alvaro Arbeloa 6
Ashley Fletcher 5
Sofiane Feghouli 4
Havard Nordtveit 4
Jonathan Calleri 3
Gokhan Tore 3
Simone Zaza 2
Andre Ayew missed exam.