I t’s not been the most memorable of transfer windows. In fact, were it not for a series of toys flying out of a pram, we might not have noticed the window at all. It felt quiet across the league with no sense of urgency in dealings but that quiet approach echoed even louder at West Ham, given the club’s lacklustre start to the season.
We did manage to do some moving and shaking to shore up the team, but fans will be disappointed in not signing a striker (as one deflected goal does not a striker make) and a desperately needed and prayed for right back. Th e players that we did bring in are experienced and players that support and contribute to the teams they are placed in, rather than demanding a circus of attention around them. Safe signings were made by buying former Southampton captain Jose Fonte and Scottish international Robert Snodgrass.
Fonte arrived for a reported fee of £8 million and headed straight into our defensive line-up. Unfortunately, the Portuguese defender had a rude awakening to life at West Ham, conceding four goals and giving away a penalty against east London annihilators Manchester City. Chin up Jose; it normally doesn’t get much worse than this. Snodgrass brings goalscoring possibility, and also a new set of feet behind free kicks and, god willing, corners.
Th e 29-year-old cost the Hammers up to £10.2 million – including add ons – and was one of the few bright sparks on the pitch during a poor ‘performance’ against Manchester City. Th e biggest news in the transfer window was in West Ham shedding some extra weight, much in the way that a scaly, slithery creature sheds its skin. Disgraced hero Dimitri Payet refused to continue to play for the club aft er wanting a return home to France, and the less said about him the better.
We made a nice profit of £15 million in returning him to Marseille and, in the process, united the fans together by taking control of the situation and allowing Slaven Billic to control the narrative. Nicely done. We also saw some good movement on the youth front. Promising young defender Reece Oxford has been sent to Reading on a season long loan to ensure he’s getting to play regular competitive football this season.
While there, he’ll be managed by one of the world’s best centre backs – former Manchester United and Holland player Jaap Stam Youngster Toni Martinez also secured a loan deal – as he heads to League One side Oxford for the remainder of the season. Of course, with every closed window, there’s always the ones that got away.
For West Ham, that honour falls to all the right backs out there who we didn’t even look at, and a tale of two strikers, both valued at £15 million. We were reportedly interested in bringing either 24-year-old Brentford striker Scott Hogan or potentially reformed Judas, Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe to the club.
In classic and frustrating West Ham fashion, we attempted to woo the two men to our club by offering way less than their respective valuations to try to obtain their services. Unsurprisingly, we were not successful with our pursuits. It was a safe transfer window but it was not ambitious, and this is a sentiment which mirrors our season perfectly. We’re safe, but we should have been pushing to achieve more, and we’re not.