Magnificent new signings will give West Ham fans reasons to cheer as season begins
PUBLISHED: 11:30 10 August 2018
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Nine new boys give the Hammers a huge makeover
Last summer, West Ham paid out £39million to bring in Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez and still the fans weren’t happy with the board.
This time round, the owners have splashed the cash to the tune of over £100m as well as bringing in a new manager with a proven track record.
It is a sensational turnaround by the board and it seems to have got the majority of the fans back on their side after those ugly scenes against Burnley last season.
During this window, the Hammers have smashed the club record transfer fee twice.
First Issa Diop arrived from Toulouse and he is not even guaranteed a starting place in this West Ham team.
Then Felipe Anderson arrived from Lazio for an initial fee of £33.5m that could rise to a staggering £42m with add-ons.
TV money has clearly played its part, but it seems that West Ham’s determination to move the club up to bigger and better things as they promised when they left Upton Park for the London Stadium, is finally being put into practice.
So what about the new boys? By the time we go to press, there is a chance that they could have added more players to their squad, but for the moment it is a magnificent seven.
In goal LUKASZ FABIANSKI has arrived to battle Adrian for the number one spot in the team.
The Poland international suffered relegation with Swansea City last season, but it did nothing to affect his reputation as a fine shot-stopper.
The 33-year-old was at the World Cup, playing the final group game against Japan as the Poles were eliminated, but keeping a clean sheet along the way.
The former Arsenal custodian looks fairly small in stature, but the fact that West Ham paid £7m for him, suggests he will certainly start the season as their number one.
RYAN FREDERICKS made the surprise move across the captain from west London outfit Fulham, despite the Cottagers being promoted to the Premier League via the play-offs.
Only 25, the speedy full-back arrived on a free transfer and will vie with the experienced Pablo Zabaleta for the right-back role.
His overlap and cross for Felipe Anderson to nod home gave us a hint of what he can do and if the former Tottenham trainee can adapt to the Premier League, he could be a huge asset.
Centre back ISSA DIOP arrived with the reputation as an exciting youngster who had already gathered a wealth of experience in the French League.
Much as Declan Rice and Reece Oxford impressed as youngsters for the Hammers, Diop did the same with Toulouse, making his debut at just 18.
Still only 21, he played 85 league games for the French outfit and in 2017 became the club captain.
He seems to have taken every challenge he has had by the scruff of the neck and although he has struggled a little in pre-season, he should still come good, though maybe in the long term.
FABIAN BALBUENA is the second Paraguayan to play for West Ham and is another candidate for the centre back spot as boss Manuel Pellegrini goes for four at the back.
He will hope to have more of an impact than Brian Montenegro, whose only West Ham appearance was as a late sub in the FA Cup defeat to Sheffield Wednesday.
Balbuena looks to have a better pedigree than his predecessor. He is a full international, a dominant figure and though his passing was a little wayward at Ipswich, his stunning last-ditch tackle to deny Mainz was an indication of what the 26-year-old brings to the team.
JACK WILSHERE has arrived on a free transfer and is a classy midfielder with a reputation as injury prone and yet to fulfil his full potential.
Still only 26, the former Arsenal man has won two FA Cups and earned 34 England caps as he was touted as one of the top midfielders in the country.
There were calls for him to go to the World Cup right up to the point where the squad was selected, but there is a feeling that he needs a new challenge in his career.
If he can stay fit then he could make a huge impression for West Ham, though don’t expect too many goals.
ANDRIY YARMOLENKO is a technically gifted winger with a reputation built up at Dinamo Kiev and while playing international football for Ukraine.
The 28-year-old did not adapt that well to life in the Bundesliga last season with Borussia Dortmund, scoring only three goals in 17 starts, but he is already looking like West Ham may be a better option.
He has already made 77 international appearances for Ukraine and that experience should stand him in good stead going into the season as he vies with Michail Antonio for a starting spot.
The big signing of the summer so far is that of Brazil international midfielder FELIPE ANDERSON in a club-record deal from Italian side Lazio.
A skilful, speedy midfielder, he was top of the Pellegrini shopping list and seems to be heralded in the same way as Dimitri Payet was back in the day.
The former Lazio man has an impressive record of goals and assists, just as the Frenchman had, and is likely to fill the role vacated by the injured Manuel Lanzini, as he continues his recovery from a knee ligament injury sustained on international duty with Argentina.
There is so much excitement among the fans for the arrival of the Brazilian and hopefully he can live up to those expectations as the club chase Premier League success.
And then on deadline day,West Ham added two more signings. First striker Lucas Perez signed in a £4m deal from Arsenal and then Fiorentina’s Colombian midfielder Carlos Sanchez made it nine signings in the window.