After the busiest transfer deadline day in the club’s history, West Ham’s new signings have some settling in to do.
The signings of Victor Moses, Nikica Jelavic, Michail Antonio and Alex Song represent some good business from manager Slaven Bilic, and will add competition to the line-up.
But, while it can’t be disputed these are high-callibre signings, the club has been prone to profligacy in the transfer market in the past. Here are our top five obscure, hilarious or just plain bad signings from the Hammers over the years.
1. Modibo Maiga, August 2011
Signed at the same time as Aston Villa plucked Christian Benteke from obscurity – for around the same amount of money - Maiga was supposed to be missing piece in Sam Allardyce’s goal-shy squad, and curb the club’s worrying over-reliance on Ricardo Vaz Te. But where Benteke barrelled into centre-halves and thundered strikes into the top corner, Maiga struggled to remember what a goal was. An unsuccessful loan spell at QPR (then a slightly better one at Metz) followed, before his transfer in August 2015 to Al Nassr. Poor Modibo.
2. Frederic Piquionne, June 2010
Striker Piquionne, who we reckon may have scored for Lyon once, turned heads while on loan at crisis club Portsmouth in 09/10, netting a saucy five goals in 34 appearances (whit-woo!), forming an irresistible partnership with Danny Webber. This encouraged the Hammers to shell out £1million on the Frenchman for absolutely no reason whatsoever. He scored eight goals, fair play. But when you stretch that out over three years and 54 games, it’s not too impressive. A loan spell at Doncaster Rovers brought an end to his Hammers days.
3. Benni McCarthy, February 2010
While we realise this was actually made in the free transfer window (which opens in February), it would be remiss of us to leave out Benni McCarthy. Ah Benni, what happened? The South African star attracted plaudits, and even a bid from Chelsea, during his time at Blackburn Rovers in the mid 2000s but, by the time he was signed by West Ham, McCarthy was a balloon-shaped shell of his former self. Starting only two games in more than a year, McCarthy was reportedly fined a total of more than £200,000 by the Hammers for being overweight, according to the Daily Mail . The striker reportedly managed to reach a chunksome 15st and 24% body fat. He has yet to find gainful employment as a footballer since his release in 2011.
4. Savio Nsereko, January 2009
Remember this guy? Well you should – Gianfranco Zola sneezed £9million to sign the prodigious German striker from Brescia. The football world wondered whether the Hammers had stumbled upon one of European football’s elite young stars. They hadn’t. After a grand total of zero goals in nine games, the youngster was shipped off to Fiorentina, before spells at TSV 1860, Bologna and Juve Stabia. A debut goal for Kazakh side FC Atyrau in December 2013 was his first goal in professional football since playing as a teenager for Brescia in 2008. Despite his hefty fee, it’s hard for any Irons fan to begrudge Nsereko some overdue success in a turbulent career. Currently plying his trade in Bulgaria for PFC Beroe Stara Zagora.
5. Kieron Dyer, June 2007
Depending on who you speak to, sicknote Kieron Dyer had either one of the most spectacularly unlucky careers in history, or an unforgivable inability to reach his potential. Signed by Newcastle in 1999, the midfielder managed 23 England caps early in his career, and was dubbed part of the Golden Generation, with Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Ashley Cole. But after failing to hit the heights – and stay out of the treatment room – at St James’ Park, he was shipped off to West Ham in 2007. A lot of fans remember this as a free transfer, but the Hammers actually paid £6million for his services, astonishingly remunerating Newcastle for the amount they paid for him. He made 15 starts in three years, scoring no goals. He was eventually shipped off to QPR on a free, where he had a season-ending injury on his debut...