We’ve made a strong summer signing in life-long Hammers fan Flynn Downes from Swansea City.
We’ve seen his CV and it reads well. A promising 23-year-old midfielder, who is ‘a gifted passer, strong tackler and combative all-round player who is already closing in on 150 career appearances’, according to the club website.
But what about his references? What would they say about what this good-on-paper player brings to the team?
There’s no one better to tell us more about Downes than the fans that know him best so we’ve gone straight to the source in Swansea, and asked Steven Carroll of Swansea Oh Swansea (SOS) Independent Swansea City Fanzine for his views on our latest signing.
The most obvious place to start was to ask about Downes’ strengths and weaknesses.
‘Downes was a breath of fresh air at Swansea,’ Steven said. ‘Good on the ball, always providing an option for teammates and usually knew his next move before the ball was given to him.
‘Good in a challenge too, but he could sometimes be naive and wound up easily as shown when Charlie Austin got him sent off at QPR.
‘Going forward there’s room for improvement too, he only found the net once last season and seldom looked like doing so.’
But what about his personality? Steven continued: ‘He did a video on YouTube with the club called “Flynn Downes; A Day in the Lifeâ€ and that’s worth a watch.
‘He was very popular in south Wales. I can’t remember anyone criticising him or saying he shouldn’t start, which says it all.’
What will you remember most about him? ‘A player that gave his all,’ Steven continued. ‘One who was a key component of the side as we looked to rebuild the Swansea Way as it’s known and probably that equaliser at Huddersfield on a freezing cold January day.’
And, finally, were you sorry to see him go? ‘Yeah definitely,’ Steven added, ‘No one wanted him to go, but we knew with our financial situation that someone was going to be sold.
‘No one begrudges him a move to the top flight and we’ve got a good fee so it’s win win for everyone.’