West Ham’s move to Stratford in 2016 brewed a tasty thought among the Hammers fan base with regular European football insight – it turns out that light was immediately extinguished and the calibre of arrivals have not been overly impressive at London Stadium since.
The first two seasons at the new ground were exceedingly disappointing. Both campaigns saw the Hammers endure worrying relegation battles, achieving 11th and 13th place finishes respectively.
Chilean manager Manuel Pellegrini renewed a spark of optimism in east London, though, and signings have drastically improved under the command of Director of Football Mario Husillos.
However, co-owner David Sullivan was the man behind the arrivals and departures before Husillos arrived; and it was obvious capturing the signature of talented footballers is certainly not his forte. The Irons have adopted a much-improved transfer policy since 2018, but the two years at London Stadium before that were rather grim.
Take a look at the worst players to sign for West Ham since the move to London Stadium…
Tore was an exciting signing when he arrived in east London in 2016 – an excitement that did not last long. YouTube videos can make any player look good and that was the case with Tore; it made him look like the Turkish version of Arjen Robben.
Slaven Bilic was the one to push this transfer through and was adamant on signing him. However, Tore made a total of eight appearances for the Hammers before sustaining a knee injury, which kept him out of action for the rest of the 2016/17 campaign.
He failed to score in Claret and Blue – his most notable achievement was producing the first assist in the Premier League at London Stadium in a 1-0 win against Bournemouth.
The Argentinian striker gave his all for the Hammers but to say his quality was sub-par is a compliment. Calleri made 16 league appearances for West Ham, netting just once during that period – a deflected goal against Middlesbrough.
He offered an excellent work-rate but unfortunately, that is all he could offer.
Luckily it was only a loan deal and he moved on to Spanish outfit Las Palmas the following summer, scoring nine goals in his debut season – why couldn’t he do that for us?
Nordtveit arrived at London Stadium in 2016 on a free transfer and promised to be an excellent signing. He was brought to the club for his ball-playing ability and versatility but failed to impress in the West Ham faithful.
GRAPHIC: West Ham with and without Håvard Nordtveit starting in the Premier League last season pic.twitter.com/yUD3YVYF3R
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) June 20, 2017
The stats proved that the Hammers were better off without Nordtveit in the starting XI and he was consequently shipped off to Hoffenheim the following summer.
He spent last season on loan at Fulham, making just five appearances – exemplifying the lack of quality he brought to the Premier League.
Zaza was mocked for his famous stuttering run-up penalty miss in the 2016 Euros for Italy, so why wouldn’t West Ham sign him?
The striker arrived on a loan deal which would be made permanent if he made a certain number of appearances – the Hammers were desperately trying to avoid that so they simply stopped playing him at the end of the season.
The Italy forward played an overhead kick through ball on his first appearance and I was convinced we had signed the new Lionel Messi – 10 more appearances later and that dream had vanished.
Who could forget his shot at Old Trafford that went out for a throw-in?
The former Champions League winner arrived at London Stadium in 2016 and looked like he had already retired when he set foot on the pitch. His best days were clearly past him and it was a typical Sullivan free transfer.
Playing for West Ham drove the Spain full-back into retirement the following summer – coincidence?
Hugill was signed in the 2018 January transfer window in a desperate attempt to appease the fans, arriving from Preston North End for a reported £10m fee.
The English striker failed to impress in east London and recently joined QPR on loan.
Twenty-two minutes of action was generous if I must say. He never did get to walk out with the bubbles…
This is the first signing in this list that occurred under the reign of Pellegrini. Sanchez arrived in the 2018 summer and has made seven league appearances in total – a knee injury he sustained against Chelsea in September last year ruled him out for the remainder of the 2018/19 campaign.
Despite his brief appearances, the 33-year-old is struggling to impress and has been pretty woeful so far – his error leading to Wolves’ winning goal back in September is the only contribution I can remember him making.
The former Premier League winner painted a similar story to that of the aforementioned Arbeloa. Evra made five appearances for the Hammers – in three of those West Ham suffered 4-1 defeats.
I’m not overly sure what he will be remembered for in east London but it certainly won’t be for anything he did on the pitch. Luckily it was a free signing but again it is an example of our previous failings in the transfer window.