Firstly I would like to welcome all our new signings to the club. Below is my own personal views on each player, if you are unfamiliar with them then this could easily help you get to know them already.
A previous member of Allardyce’s Bolton, now at the age of 37, this goalkeeper comes with bags of Premier League experience.
For a freebie, I don’t feel you can complain and he should prove to be a more than good enough replacement for the departed Robert Green.
He is a very consistent performer and has always been known for his stand out displays, especially when he originally worked with Allardyce, he was a keeper much admired in a very solid and hard to beat Bolton side.
He has signed on a one year deal, with a view to have another year extended on, which I’m sure will all be based on performances throughout the season. He made well over 400 appearances for Bolton and even has 56 caps for Finland.
If this isn’t enough experience then I’m not too sure what is. He has also appeared in the UEFA Cup for Bolton and has been named their player of the year and player’s player of the year, for helping them to reach that tournament.
He’s also very determined and it’s not often you see him just watch a shot go by, which in my opinion is only a good thing. The only point I would say that goes against him is his age, but that could also mean he wants to go out with a bang and prove his point. I also feel he will be a great tutor for another signing of ours Stephen Henderson.
Another free signing and proof Sam is not messing about with his transfers, bolstering the squad and in what I feel was one of our weakest area’s bar Rob Green last season.
We had a very inexperienced and, in my opinion, not too good Ruud Boffin, an even more inexperienced Marek Stech and Peter Kurucz, who I just didn’t rate.
Henderson is a very highly rated young keeper, only 24 but already showing lots of promise. He played for Portsmouth before joining us on loan last season and a lot of the Portsmouth fans were gutted to see him go.
They rated this young man highly and hoped they’d see him in the first team soon. He has signed a three year contract and I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes the number 1 spot his own eventually. He has also represented the Republic of Ireland at Under-21 level.
Diame was also signed for free on a three year contract. This big man plays in centre midfield and with Diop leaving, this man will surely step up to be the strength to compliment Nolan’s attacking ability and Noble’s dogged performances of ball winning and distributing the ball to start attacks or supply width.
Although Diame is mainly a defensive midfielder, he can pass as well as tackle and can even chip in with the odd goal now and then. At only 25, he still has many years ahead of him and I feel he could prove to be one of the vital pieces to help us stay up.
He will protect the defence at all costs. Diame will also add depth to our midfield along with the likes of Collison and O’Neil, so we are not short of choices.
He was rated highly at Wigan and I’m sure they’re disappointed to see him leave on a free and, if the rumours were to be believed, he was also being looked at by Liverpool and Tottenham, so this is a very good coup for the new season.
Probably the least surprising of all the signings but still a signing none the less. We all know what we can get from him. A good solid left back, who to come back is clearly a fan of the club itself and maybe had it not been for the Icelandic intervention, would have never left in the first place.
I feel he is very strong defensively and although not the quickest, he is still comfortable on the ball as we saw with a goal I feel needs no mentioning last season. It was a sublime run and very good finish. He is also happy to whip the ball in the box and I am very happy to see him sign permanently now.
I personally look forward to seeing each of these in the claret and blue and hope they help provide us with a pleasing season that reinstates our claims as a Premier League team. The main aim has to avoid relegation and I have faith in the manager and the team. Come On You Irons!
You can read more from Banno over at his own West Ham Blog here.