West Ham are well-known for their academy and bringing through some of England’s greatest footballing talents in recent years such as Frank Lampard, Joe Cole, Rio Ferdinand, Michael Carrick, Jermain Defoe and Glen Johnson.
But this reputation has been ruined by some appalling signings the club has made in the past and there have been some real blunders. Here is my top 10.
West Ham signed this unknown 19 year old from Brescia in January 2009. There was huge expectation after he was signed for £9 million and given the number 10 shirt. The Ugandan-born striker failed to impress after only starting one game and not scoring at all at his time at the Hammers. He was soon sold on to Fiorentina. The striker has recently faked his own kidnap and was arrested by police.
The Hammers signed the injury prone midfielder from Newcastle in August 2007 for £6 million. The midfielder made on only 30 appearances for West Ham without scoring a goal in his four years at the club. It was reported that he was the highest earner at the club, raking in £83,000 a week. He was released at the end of the 10/11 season and he is now at QPR where once again he has been affected by injury.
McCarthy was signed by West Ham for an undisclosed fee on deadline day of the 2010 January transfer window from Blackburn Rovers. In his debut he picked up an injury that would keep him out for up to six weeks. He came back extremely unfit and overweight and only went on to play another 13 games for West Ham. In April 2011 West Ham paid him off £1.5 million to terminate his contract.
Harry Redknapp signed the striker from Liverpool, after failing to impress on Merseyside, in December 2000 for £1.5m fee which could have risen to £2.6m. There’s not too much to say about him while at West Ham other than he made only 14 appearances without scoring and left after his contract was terminated following West Ham’s relegation.
Like Titi Camara, Rigobert Song was signed from Liverpool. It was first said that he was brought in as a replacement for Rio Ferdinand who had left for Leeds United in a £18 million deal. The defender played only 24 games for West Ham in two years and left in 2002.
This was a very strange one, West Ham signed him from his boyhood club Oxford United for a big fee of £1 million. He was signed in 1994 and lasted an embarrassing 58 days at the club as he said he couldn’t deal with the commute to training from Oxford. He was then sold to Swindon Town for £800,000.
I think he has to be included in this despite him being a world class footballer who now plays for Barcelona. The midfielder was signed in a joint deal with Carlos Tevez and unlike Tevez he didn’t make any impact at the club. He made only five appearances before being moved onto Liverpool.
Another flop signing during the Redknapp era was this Dutch striker. He was signed from Sparta Rotterdam for £1 million in 1995. In his second appearance for the club he came on as a substitute and was basically sent off straight away for a horrific tackle on Gary Neville. He was the suspended for four games and after that played only two more games for West Ham.
Another bad signing by Harry Redknapp. He was signed for £2.6 million after scoring the only goal for Romania in their Euro 96 campaign. His time at Upton Park was overshadowed by arguments with Redknapp and he lasted only one season at West Ham scoring three goals.
The right back signed for West Ham in 1999 and was the club for three years where he played only five times. West Ham was his final club and he retired in 2002. While at West Ham he had a lot of off-field problems and was caught drink driving on many occasions. Since leaving football he had been in trouble of the police and admitted having a drinking problem.