West Ham: World Cup winner signed; forward loaned out; young midfielder released

West Ham managed to make one deadline day signing and it was a shrewd one, as free agent Alvaro Arbeloa joined the club on a one-year-deal. The club have had a good summer, making several exciting signings and this deal caps off a great transfer window. After letting Reece Burke leave on loan, they were short at right back and needed to bring a player into the club. Slaven Bilic recognised the weakness in his squad and signed Arbeloa, who has had a decorated career. The Spaniard has won the World Cup and his experience will be invaluable to have in the squad.

 

Arbeloa has been at Real Madrid for the last seven years, making over 150 appearances for the current European champions. He was a regular for a long time, before being reduced to a squad role in recent years. West Ham’s first choice right back is currently Sam Byram and having Arbeloa at the club will have a positive effect from him. Byram will have the opportunity to learn from one of the greats of the game. The move to bring in Arbeloa also frees up Michail Antonio to focus on playing as a winger, rather than having to cover at right back. The former Nottingham Forest man has recently been called into the England squad and it would have been crazy to force him back into the full back role.

A departure from the squad on deadline day was Enner Valencia, who moved to Premier League rivals Everton on a season long loan. The deal includes an option to make the move permanent next summer for £14.5 million. After being knocked out of the Europa League, it was important to move one of the attacking players out, as West Ham had too many. Slaven Bilic had been planning for a European campaign, but a shock defeat to Astra Giurgiu has significantly reduced West Ham’s schedule, therefore less playing time will have been on offer and Valencia was seen as surplus to requirements.

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During his spell at West Ham, the Ecuadorian showed flashes of his international form and scored a few great goals, but the consistency was lacking. He only scored eight league goals in over 50 appearances, which was disappointing for a forward that cost the club £12 million after a superb World Cup display. His attitude was called into question by supporters and there were rumours that he didn’t get on well with Bilic. Although he undoubtedly has talent, an exit made sense for West Ham and they will be happy that they managed to remove him from the wage bill, albeit temporarily.

Finally, the club decided to terminate the contract of midfielder Diego Poyet, after just two years at the club. The son of Chelsea icon Gus Poyet was signed two years ago from Charlton Athletic at the beginning of Sam Allardyce’s last season in charge and was seen as an exciting young player. He had played on numerous occasions in the Championship and impressed several Premier League clubs during this period. After signing for West Ham, he played a few times for the club at the beginning of the 2014/15 season and it looked like he had a big future for the Hammers.

 

However, his development has stalled and he has failed to impress on several loan spells to Championship clubs. West Ham have emerged as an up-and-coming force in English football and they are now too good for several of the fringe players at the club, including Poyet. He was signed as a promising youngster to provide competition for the first team. The midfielder started well, but has failed to develop at the same rate as the team. West Ham needed to trim their wage bill and this was a good move by the club. It is a positive for Poyet as well, as he can move to a club that can offer him first team football.

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