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The worst signings from the Premier League and Championship this season

Ruari Macneil

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With the season nearing an end, we are taking the chance to look back at the worst signings of the season from the Premier League and Championship. Like every year, there are a number of players who arrive at clubs with huge promise, but simply fail to deliver on the big stage.

In no particular order, here are the five players we believe to be the worst signings of 2017/2018…

Joe Hart

England veteran Joe Hart will have signed for West Ham hoping to reignite his Premier League career and secure a spot in Gareth Southgate’s squad for Russia this summer. Unfortunately for Hart, the first hope has definitely not happened, and whether he will be on the plane to Russia remains to be seen.

The Manchester City owned shot stopper was thrust into the West Ham starting line-up at the beginning of the season, only to be axed for former number one Adrian after a long run of poor performances. The psychological  damage inflicted on Hart when he was humiliatingly dropped by Pep Guardiola last season has clearly taken more of a toll on the ‘keeper than first anticipated, and the once dominant figure looks a shell of the man he used to be on the pitch.

Hart was brought back into the West Ham side later on in the season after Adrian experienced some poor form himself and, despite showing glimpses of the quality he still possesses, Hart’s costly mistakes have not been eradicated.

Tyias Browning

Ty Browning joined Sunderland on loan from Everton last summer, as the youngster looked to pick up some valuable first-team experience and help lead the Black Cats back into the top flight at the first time of asking.

Unfortunately for the 23-year-old, things could not have gone much worse as Sunderland have experienced one of the worst seasons in their entire history, stuck to the bottom of the Championship table.

The centre-back has made 29 appearances for Sunderland this season and has been a member of the defence that has conceded some 80 goals in the league. It is safe to say that Browning has not exactly cemented himself in Sam Allardyce’s Everton plans for next season.

Renato Sanches

Another loan player, Renato Sanches has been a huge disappointment this season, and probably arrived at Swansea as one of the brightest prospects in the entire Premier League.

Arriving from German giants Bayern Munich, big things were expected of the Euro 2016 champion, but unfortunately for the Swans, the youngster has missed much of the season through injury and has offered little in terms of a threat when he has played. Having made only 15 appearances in all competitions for his loan club, it remains to be seen whether or not Swansea will try to turn his signature into a permanent one. However, given his season, it is more likely that he will be sent back to Munich.

That being said, Carlos Carvalhal will be well aware of his compatriot’s capabilities, and could be willing to offer Sanches a shot at redemption next term.

Jason Cummings

Scottish youngster Jason Cummings arrived in Nottingham with a huge amount of expectation after three stunning seasons with Hibernian. However, the step up from the Scottish Championship to English Championship is clear for all to see, and the striker was unable to adjust quickly to the demands of EFL football.

Cummings has proved himself to be a prolific goal-getter in the past, however, his record of one goal in 14 appearances in the league for Forest led to him being loaned out to Rangers in January, where he has also experienced mixed fortunes. Aged 22, Cummings still has a chance to turn his Forest career around, but will need to hit the ground running next season and find his scoring boots if Aitor Karanka is to consider him as a starting player in his side.

Sandro Ramirez

Everton fans will have been ecstatic at the prospect of Barcelona youth academy graduate Sandro Ramirez lining up alongside Wayne Rooney this season. However, things did not quite go to plan for the Toffees.

Having netted 16 goals for Malaga in the previous campaign, Ramirez was brought in last summer but failed to make any sort of impact at Goodison Park. The 22-year-old has netted only one goal for Everton since his arrival which came in the Europa League, and failed to score on any of his eight outings in the league.

Having proved to be a flop, he was quickly whisked away on loan to Sevilla in January where he has experienced even worse fortunes, playing less than a handful of times for the Spanish outfit. Ramirez still has his whole career ahead of him and his Toffees career is by all means salvageable, but that does not detract from his highly disappointing first season in English football.

Life long lover of sport in general with a soft spot for football. A consistent defender of Scottish football as a spectacle. Desperately waiting to see my country qualify for a major tournament.

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West Ham United

Three things West Ham fans will demand from Manuel Pellegrini

Josh Kerr

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Manuel Pellegrini
Photo: Getty Images

David Moyes left his position as West Ham manager after achieving the job at hand and ensuring the Hammers remained in the Premier League, guiding them to a 13th place finish.

Manuel Pellegrini has since been given the keys to the Olympic Stadium after the London outfit appointed the former Premier League manager on Tuesday.

Securing a manager for the long-term was of upmost importance for the Hammers this summer and Pellegrini will be fully aware of what is expected now he has taken over the reigns.

So, what three things should be of paramount priority to the new man in charge?

(Photo by Paul Ellis/Getty Images)

Moving certain players on

West Ham have had their fair share of dead weight this season, and if the Hammers are to move in the right direction then a summer clear-out is definitely needed.

Andy Carroll is one of those who has endured a fairly miserable campaign, scoring only three times in all competitions and the Englishman has failed to hit double figures in a single season since his permanent move from Liverpool in 2013.

Cheikhou Kouyate is another player that West Hams fans would happily see leave the club. The 28-year-old, who earns £60,000-a-week, has frustrated supporters all season with no-one actually knowing what position the Senegal international is best suited to.

These two names represent, arguably, those who are most likely to leave East London. However, there will be plenty more shown the door once the new Hammers boss has found his feet.

(Photo by Glyn Kirk/Getty Images)

Improve the defence 

It doesn’t take a genius to say that West Ham’s defence is in urgent need of a reshuffle after the Hammers back four conceded the most goals in the Premier League this season, alongside Stoke.

According to Football.London, David Moyes made it clear he wanted to sign at least two defenders this window, if he remained in the job, and Pellegrini will also be very likely to do the same.

The emergence of Declan Rice will likely confirm his future under Pellegrini, and Angelo Ogbonna has improved since January which could save his West Ham career.

However, the club will likely still want to see fresh faces come in and challenge for those central defensive positions.

(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Earn a top-half finish

Despite being a formidable force with Slaven Bilic in his first season, the club will not ask for too much from their new boss after the disarray the experienced over the last year.

The fans just want stability and a top-half finish will surely be enough to evidence that.

Moyes steered the club to 13th this season despite taking over when the club were third from bottom.

However, with a full season under Pellegrini, then a top-half finish is more than achievable with a strengthened squad.

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West Ham United

Reuniting Marko Arnautovic and Xherdan Shaqiri could lead West Ham to top half finish

Josh Kerr

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Xherdan Shaqiri
Photo: Getty Images

The 2017/18 season represents one of the most bizarre for West Ham supporters as, despite finishing 13th, the club will see their third managerial appointment in just seven months, with Manuel Pellegrini the latest manager to take the reigns in East London.

One of the biggest tasks for the Chilean tactician will be getting the summer transfer window right. This will involve strengthening in key areas if the club are to meet fans’ expectations and achieve a top-half finish next season.

The previous window for the Hammers initially looked promising, with some proven Premier League stars joining the London Stadium, including the likes of Javier Hernandez, Pablo Zabaleta and Joe Hart.

However, Hernandez has endured most of his time on the bench, while Joe Hart’s terrible form has seen him axed from Gareth Southgate’s England squad. Pablo Zabaleta can hold his head high with the Argentine already considered a fan favourite.

Marko Arnautovic was undoubtedly the star arrival of the summer window and, despite the club paying a record £20 million for the Austrian international, his form under David Moyes justified such a high fee.

The 29-year-old finished the season for the Hammers with 11 goals and six assists in 31 league games, also securing the club’s Player of the Year award.  

Arnautovic will have a huge role to play next season and getting him the perfect strike partner will be crucial in whether Pellegrini is considered a success or not.

One man who could prove to be the ideal foil for the West Ham star next season, is his former teammate and Stoke City forward Xherdan Shaqiri.

According to reports from The Sun, the Switzerland international is available for as little as £12 million, giving West Ham little reason not to swoop for the former Bayern Munich prodigy.

The speedy trickster finished the 2017/18 campaign with an impressive tally of eight goals and seven assists in 36 Premier League appearances but couldn’t help Stoke fight off relegation.

Under a manager like Pellegrini, who likes to play an attacking brand of football, the 26-year-old star could flourish to a great extent. His pace, skills and eye for goal are qualities that Hammers fans should not overlook.

Shaqiri has what it takes to make a difference for the Hammers next season and, having already played alongside Arnautovic for two seasons at Stoke, the duo will know each other’s game very well.

They could form a partnership that helps fire West Ham to a top half finish next term.

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West Ham United

Manuel Pellegrini should target reunion with Ignacio Camacho this summer

The new West Ham boss managed Camacho at Malaga.

Mathew Coull

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West Ham United have appointed Manuel Pellegrini as their new manager and the Chilean is set to be handed a big transfer kitty to try and turn things around at the London Stadium. But where should he look to bring in improvements? As so many managers do, Pellegrini might go to his past. He has already been linked with former goalkeeper Willy Caballero and midfield maestro Yaya Toure. But if West Ham really want to look at some of his former players, one excellent option is Spanish midfielder, Ignacio Camacho.

The 28-year-old midfielder was a pivotal figure in Pellegrini’s midfield during his time at Malaga. The orchestrator of the side from the centre of the park it was during his time at Malaga that he received his one and only cap for Spain.

Often linked with a move to the Premier League, with the likes of Liverpool, West Brom and Watford mentioned over the years, Camacho finally did leave Malaga last summer.

(Photo credit should read CLAUDIO REYES/AFP/Getty Images)

He joined Bundesliga side Wolfsburg, taking over the captaincy at the club, and was supposed to lead them back into European football.

That certainly did not happen.

In the end, Wolfsburg only survived relegation by the skin of their teeth. Camacho, however, is fairly blameless. He underwent ankle surgery in October that saw his appearances diminish. He is now fully fit and played in both legs of Wolfsburg’s successful relegation play-off clash with Kiel.

West Ham, however, could surely try and lure him to England. The presence of his former boss Pellegrini would be a massive attraction for the player, who cost Wolfsburg a fee reported by ESPN to be in the region of €10 million (£8.8 million).

(Photo credit should read GUENTER SCHIFFMANN/AFP/Getty Images)

The Hammers need another central midfielder and Camacho’s ability to play in a back three also makes him a double threat.

His vision, passing ability and leadership qualities would all be greatly received at West Ham where Pellegrini would hopefully get the best out of him once again.

If City are going to look at former Pellegrini players this summer, then Camacho should top that list.

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