West Ham United are going quietly about their business this summer.
On the back of an underwhelming debut campaign at the London Stadium, the Hammers are fighting to ensure the 2017-18 season treats them better. Their transfer activity so far, certainly bodes well.
Pablo Zabeleta, a constant fixture at Manchester City for nine years, was the first to join and on a free transfer at that. Exciting Ajax prospect Anouar El Mhassani then put pen to paper on a deal just this week.
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Throw in the fact Javier Hernandez is all but a West Ham player now and you have yourself a striking start to the transfer window. When Chicharito is arriving for just £13 million, you know you’re doing something right.
Then again, it is the club’s loan capture of Joe Hart that proves their marquee signing so far. Slaven Bilic’s men have the option to sign him permanently for £10 million in 12 months’ time.
So while no set of signings will ever fill the void left by Dimitri Payet, there is great reason to be excited. And, furthermore, the signings have been flourishing in training.
Hart has come in for a lot of criticism in recent years and endured a mixed loan spell in Torino after being ousted by Pep Guardiola at City. His concession of two Leigh Griffith free-kicks in as many minutes last month did him no favours, either.
Nevertheless, there is no doubting that the 30-year-old is a world class ‘keeper and can be rivaled by few for his shot stopping ability.
That is, until you pair him up with fellow signing and ex-City teammate Zabaleta.
In a shooting drill in training on Thursday, the right-back thundered home a first time volley past Hart and into the top corner. It was a cracking strike and the Hammers’ new number one could do nothing to stop it.
Amusingly too, Zabaleta had a message for the ‘keeper after scoring. Watch below:
For a player whose highest scoring season in England saw just three goals, it was quite the hit and he celebrated with the perfect dig at Hart. Brilliant stuff.
If nothing else it shows that West Ham’s new ex-City duo aren’t short of chemistry and if Hart can save the simpler efforts, both can be seen as settling well.
The Englishman himself will be hoping to send City a message with his performances this season but will have to deal with the limelight his Torino switch spared him from.
And to the top clubs that also snubbed him, namely Liverpool if the rumours were to be believed. For the Hammers themselves, though, they can’t exactly do much more to build on their eleventh place finish.
Zabaleta up front then, anyone?
Do you think Joe Hart has been treated harshly in recent years? Let us know by leaving a comment below.