West Ham have undertaken a flurry of transfer activity and raised eyebrows across the country with their business since Manuel Pellegrini’s early summer appointment.
However, there is a tendency for the wider viewing public to judge quantity more favourably than quality, so we’ve taken a fine tooth comb to each and every deal to assess whether it’ll be a success or not.
Read on for the verdict on Pellegrini’s summer business on a deal-by-deal basis now that the window has finally slammed shut…
Felipe Anderson – Lazio
West Ham smashed their transfer record to land playmaker Anderson from Lazio, to make their biggest statement of the summer that Pellegrini will be backed with the tools to create a more attacking side.
The Brazilian has quality, but the swoop represents a gamble. Anderson’s injury record wasn’t the best during his time at the Italian giants and seven goals and four assists in Serie A last season doesn’t immediately stand out.
That said, the Hammers have been searching for a creative fulcrum since the departure of Dimitri Payet and the fans will take him to their hearts if he can replicate the Frenchman’s exploits in his maiden campaign in English football.
Issa Diop – Toulouse
Pellegrini is wily enough to know that introducing an attacking style of play doesn’t work without a sturdy, athletic backline and West Ham’s defensive record was poor last season.
That is why he wasted no time bringing in 21-year-old Diop. An unproven young defender is always a risk, but Pellegrini clearly believes he’s got the talent to adjust to the Premier League.
With Angelo Ogbonna alongside him, Pellegrini has a powerful, pacy central defensive duo capable of keeping the back door shut while his new-look side squeezes teams higher up the pitch.
Andriy Yarmolenko – Borussia Dortmund
This one looks an outstanding coup. Yarmolenko is a brilliant talent, with substantial international and European experience and hasn’t cost the earth.
At 28, he doesn’t have much more room to grow but should have years left in him and the experience to adjust to a new country and make an impact straight away.
The higher fee for Anderson may catch the eye, but it may be the case that Yarmolenko steps up to claim centre stage. Either way, the duo should be able to make up for the loss of Manuel Lanzini for the whole season.
Lukasz Fabianski – Swansea City
After Joe Hart’s unsuccessful loan spell, Pellegrini needed a new goalkeeper to either challenge or usurp Adrian and Swansea’s relegation presented the opportunity to snare Fabianski.
The former Arsenal stopper is now a seasoned and proven Premier League performer, and what he lacks in height, he makes up for with his agility and shot-stopping.
The downside is that Adrian may become disillusioned as, for a second straight summer, a new arrival has been brought in to take the number one spot, but the deal was something of a no-brainer. Fabianski should be solid.
Carlos Sanchez – Fiorentina
After such an impressive summer in the transfer market, the Deadline Day arrival of Sanchez was a slightly underwhelming way to finish.
If he has been brought in as experienced back up, with Declan Rice and Pedro Obiang ahead of him in the defensive midfield pecking order, then it can be classed as uninspiring but safe.
If Sanchez has been pencilled in for a more important role in Pellegrini’s Hammers revolution, it represents the biggest blunder of the window. At 32, Sanchez doesn’t have the legs and his time at Aston Villa suggests he never truly had the ability to make an impact on the Premier League. This one doesn’t really make sense.
Lucas Perez – Arsenal
At a knockdown price Perez, Sanchez’s fellow Deadline Day arrival, looks a very shrewd piece of business. With Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez ahead of him in the pecking order, he shouldn’t be required to start every week, but he is a capable deputy.
He can play as the main striker or in a more withdrawn role and the feeling persists that he is better than he was allowed to show at Arsenal under Arsene Wenger.
He knows where the goal is and has a good workrate – both of those assets should endear him to his new fanbase.
Fabian Balbuena – Corinthians
This is another one that looks like a bargain. Balbuena was the best defender in the Brazilian league last season but has not cost the earth, which offsets the high cost of Diop’s arrival to spruce up the backline.
A period of adjustment may be required but Balbuena should get opportunities in Winston Reid’s injury-enforced absence in the opening months of the season to leap ahead in the pecking order.
His performances in Brazil suggest he is good enough to take them, and at 26, there should be plenty more to come.
Jack Wilshere – Arsenal
Wilshere splits opinion across the country but he’s an exceptionally talented midfielder, with that rare ability to beat a man in the centre of the park and a passing range which can dominate a game.
Last season saw him go a long way to banishing his injury demons, although being forced to pull out of March’s England friendlies was a worrying sign, so there is still more work to do there.
If he stays fit, Wilshere’s quality could see him be one of the coups of the summer – such is his talent – and taking Cheikhou Kouyate’s midfield spot indicates Pellegrini’s preference for guile over athleticism in that area of the pitch.
Ryan Fredericks – Fulham
There isn’t a great deal of value in the transfer market these days and while Wilshere may prove a bargain, Fredericks certainly should.
A previously ill-disciplined defender, Fredericks improved hugely under Slavisa Jokanovic at Fulham and his bursts down the right were integral to their promotion push.
Getting him for free to battle with and learn from Pablo Zabaleta – a fight he should win if he stays injury-free – is a fantastic piece of business and instantly increases West Ham’s pace and attacking thrust. Don’t rule out an England call-up this season, either.