There is never a dull moment when West Ham are involved in any transfer window, especially the summer one.
Who’s arriving, who’s departing and what deals fall through at the last minute are the general questions asked by Hammers fans.
With the highly anticipated Olympic Stadium just around the corner, co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan have provided significant funds, more evident over the past two seasons, to show that the East Londoners mean business when they switch to the new home next season.
This season has seen the likes of midfield maestro Dimitri Payet arrive from French outfit Marseille and Pedro Obiang seal a switch to the Boleyn Ground from Sampdoria. However, another stellar addition to the squad that is sure to impress in the famous claret and blue is Angelo Ogbonna.
The Italy international arrived in July from Serie A champions Juventus for a fee of £8.5m, probably one of the bargains of the summer considering the inflated Premier League television deal has resulted in even Stoke City having more Champions League winning players in there squad than Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool.
The former Torino powerhouse, who was once being courted by the Gunners and Manchester United, stands at an intimidating 6”3in and, quite frankly, is built like a tank.
Not only is the recent signing defensively sound, but his ability on the ball by playing concise, effective and accurate passes to put the opposition in danger is also another strong attribute of his.
It’s not as if Ogbonna was playing a so called ‘bit part’ role at Juventus, as the 27-year-old mustered 25 appearances in both the Italian league and the Champions League. That experience is in both competitions is extremely valuable for West Ham in the near and promising future.
Although he made a decent contribution in Italy last season, in the two years Ogbonna had in Turin, he only managed 41 appearances in two years, something you’d expect from a player of his quality in one campaign.
Furthermore, the stocky centre half did not get off to the best of starts to his hopefully illustrious Hammers career, scoring an own goal in the Europa League third round qualifying first leg tie against FC Astra Giurgiu at Upton Park, who ultimately dumped Slaven Bilic’s men out of Europe.
However, despite the early setback, Ogbonna fits in perfectly with the E13 side’s new style of play. Unlike veteran James Collins, Ogbonna is technically more gifted and comfortable to play attractive football from the backline.
Yes, Collins’s Premier League experience, determination and passion is probably the best in the squad, but if you’re looking for extra quality then the centre back partnership for the first game of the season away at Arsenal should be Winston Reid and Ogbonna.
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