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Redknapp's transfers: the verdict

Filed: Tuesday, 24th April 2001
By: Staff Writer

With West Ham's season all but over, KUMB takes a close look at all of Harry Redknapp's signings since last summer and asks - have we really improved?

Since the end of the 1999/2000 season the club have brought in 12 new players at a total cost of £11.9m. This was offset by the £24m+ that the club received (or will eventually receive) for Rio Ferdinand and Marc-Vivien Foe, plus fringe players such as Gary Alexander.

So, in alphabetical order, here's KUMB's verdict on each and every one of the new signings. You may agree, you may disagree - whatever, at the bottom of the page you have the opportunity to make your thoughts known. So without further ado ...

1. Christian Bassila (August 2000, on loan for rest of season)
Another player thrown out of his former club (for allegedly slapping a bouncer) Bassila made an impressive debut against Man Utd in the 2-2 draw at Upton Park. But since then a succession of injuries have rerstricted him to just a matter of minutes on the pitch, which makes it very hard to reach a conclusion on his value to the team. When fit he could fill the void left by Marc-Vivien Foe, who we've never adequately replaced - but if he's going to spend more time on the treatment table than Darren Anderton maybe we're better off looking elsewhere.
HIT OR MISS : HIT (when he's played), but overall a MISS

2. Titi Camara (Dec 2000, £1.5m)
Guinean striker Camara joined the Hammers from Liverpool just before Christmas, and was one of Harry Redknapp's first signings with the Rio money. Upon arrival he promised goals, goals, and more goals - and three months later he's yet to even score once. Constantly overweight, it's not surprising to see why he spent the first four months of the season on Liverpool's bench. Probably the biggest turkey of the lot.

3. Christian Dailly (Jan 2001, £1.7m)
The Scottish international eventually signed from first division Blackburn despite the best efforts of Leicester and Everton to hijack the move. Many Hammers fans will be wishing they had succeeded after Dailly's disappionting performance against Tottenham in the FA Cup. But overall Dailly has settled in to the side well with some highly-acclaimed performances already under his belt. Perhaps too early to judge, but Blackburn wouldn't have paid £5.4m for him two years ago if they thought he was no good.

4. Kaba Diawara (September 2000, on loan for rest of season)
The former Arsenal and Blackburn striker joined on loan from PSG after failing to impress either of his previous English clubs. Well make that three now, because without wishing to hit a man while he's down, Diawara has proved to be a complete waste of time. His fleeting appearances have been on the whole unmemorable, and he should have about as much chance of winning a contract as Davor Suker.

5. Frederic Kanoute (May 2000, swap deal with Marc-Vivien Foe + £2.3m)
Freddy was an instant hit when he joined the club on loan this time last year. It wasn't long before Harry Redknapp snapped him up, since when he has been something of a revelation. Without doubt one of the best strikers we've had at the club in many years, Freddy could go on to establish himself as a French international - despite some serious competition. However, if he has a weakness it's those precious one-on-one situations where he has been guilty of some terrible misses this season. Not the complete player yet - but not far off.

6. Sebastien Schemmel (Jan 2001, on loan until end of season)
Redknapp turned to the Metz defender after being told that Trevor Sinclair would miss the rest of the season through injury - and so far it's proved a shrewd move. Schemmel, although not being blessed with the skill of Sinclair has proved to be a full-blooded competitor who makes up for his lack of artistry with 100% commitment. Probably played the game of his life at Old Trafford in the FA Cup win - and well worth taking up for the paltry £1.5m current club Metz are believed to be happy to offload him for.

7. Ragnvald Soma (January 2001, £1.5m)
Soma's will he/won't he transfer saga dragged on nearly as long as Hayden Foxe's, but after professing he'd rather play in Italy the boy from Bryne finally joined the Hammers (after no Italian club wanted him). Limited appearances in midfield so far (he prefers to play as a centre-half) so it's hard to judge West Ham's first Norwegian. Mind you, his tendency to run like a duck has amused many at the Boleyn.

8. Rigobert Song (Dec 2000, £2.5m)
Joined the Hammers from Liverpool shortly after teammate Titi Camara - and was immediately criticised for an error against Sheffield Wednesday which was partly to blame for our exit from the Worthington Cup. Picked up in the next few games (including a stormer against Villa), but then made a terrible blunder against Man Utd in the league on New Years Day. And that is the story of Song's short Hammers career - good one minute, but awful the next. A squad player at best.

9. Davor Suker (July 2000, free)
Former Golden Boot winner Suker joined us from Arsenal in the summer on a free transfer, and started well enough scoring at Sunderland, and most memorably against Man Utd at Upton Park. However a long-term groin injury has kept him out of action until recently, and many have questioned his desire to play for the club. Against Arsenal and Chelsea he was abysmal - for £26k a week you expect much more. No chance of earning an extension to his current 12 month contract.

10. Svetoslav Todorov (February 2001, £0.5m)
Yet to make a real impression on the first team squad - although Harry Redknapp did say he was one for the future when he signed him - but definitely a hot prospect. Todorov, just 21 has already made over 20 appearances for the Bulgarian national team, and finished second top scorer in the Bulgarian first division last season. Judging by his performace against Tottenham in the FA Cup there'll be many more on the way.

11. Nigel Winterburn (June 2000, £0.5m)
I'm sure I was not alone in questioning Harry Redknapp's sanity when he bought the veteran left-back across the city last summer. But since he first caught the eye against Celtic in last summer's pre-season friendly our Nige has proved even the biggest cynic wrong. Totally committed and as fit as any 20-year-old, his performances this year have made him a serious contender for Hammer of the Year.

The one that got away ...

12. Hannu Tihinen (December 2000, 3 month loan)
I, like many of you find it hard to believe that Tihinen was allowed to return to Norway after a successful 3 month loan spell - especially with the memory of the defensive blunders against Tottenham still fresh in the mind. Harry Redknapp has told priavtely how he doesn't feel that Tihinen was worth the £3m asking price. Maybe not, but he was willing to pay a similar figure for Rigobert Song - who hasn't proved to be anywhere near as good as Tihinen. Get your hands in your pockets West Ham, and pay up - before we live to regret it.

So summing up, that's 5 hits and 5 misses, with the jury out on Ragnvald Soma. Hannu Tihinen would have made hit number 6 had he still been here.

Of the misses, only two - Titi Camara and Rigobert Song cost a fee; a total of £4m. More wisely spent has been the £6.4m which is the value of our hits, with Soma costing £1.5m.

So you can look at this one of two ways; either Harry Redknapp has frittered away £4m+ of our hard earned readies - or he has invested £6.4m+ wisely in the future of the club.

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.

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