Filed: Tuesday, 15th November 2016
January is nearly upon us, and with it comes the impending sense of dread that West Ham are about to do something stupid. And also that with a Trump presidency we might not make the end of January, but mostly that we might be about to spend £20m on Cesc Fabregas.
No, no, I'm sure everything is going to be just fine
You see, since the implementation of the January transfer window, and the takeover of West Ham by David(s) Sullivan and Gold, we have not been terribly good in the transfer market post Christmas. In fact, you could argue that our general transfer activity has been a bit iffy, with all sorts of money poured away on new signings of vastly varying success, and barely anything recouped through transfer sales.
Now some might argue that not selling players is a good thing. We all remember the West Ham of Terry Brown where we seemed to do little else other than sell on good players for profit, while investing small fractions of that money back into the team.
Sullivan and Gold have stopped that. When was the last time a first team player left and you were sad about it? I'd wager if such a sale occurred, it was during the last season or two when we have finally started to get some proper fees for players.
It is also true, however, that part of the reason we stopped being a selling club is because for a while there, we had nobody worth selling. And that's not a great position to be in either. If you look at the likes of Liverpool, Spurs and, most relevantly, Southampton, a huge part of their improvement has come as a result of player sales generating income to put back into the team. That path hasn't been open to us because we haven't had the same class of players to sell.
2. Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
So before the world goes full "Walking Dead" and we all start trading cigarettes for food as Donald tries out his nukes, I decided to take a look back at our transfer activity under Messrs Sullivan and Gold since their arrival at West Ham in January 2010.
At the time of the takeover, the Club was being run by Scott Duxbury and having sold off everything of any value and borrowed lots of money from Wonga and Ocean Finance and held a cake sale, we just about had enough money to keep the electricity on.
Scott Duxbury. Just like a regular human being
But the immediately pressing matter was that the team were floundering under Gianfranco Zola, lay in 16th and had played Frank Nouble alone up front in the game immediately prior to the takeover. Next time we bemoan our lack of striking options, it might be worth remembering that at least we're not in that particular Kansas anymore.
With only a few days left of the transfer window, Sullivan announced that he was desperately trying to land Ruud van Nistelrooy to spearhead our relegation fight. Sadly, he fell just short and signed Mido and Benni McCarthy instead, but it was a nice insight into the "talk first, think later" mindset of the new owners.
So I decided to put together a breakdown of our arrivals over the past seven years, and classified them as a "Hit", "Miss" or "Maybe". This is entirely arbitrary, and is nothing more scientific than my opinion on the value of that particular signing. I tried to take into account their initial cost price, any resale value and actual performance, but most of it is just me giving a gut reaction because you wouldn't want me to put too much effort in to this, I know. To clarify, those shown as "Maybe" are players who I couldn't make my mind up about either way.
You are probably going to disagree with lots of the classifications, but in some respects that doesn't really matter as there are certain things going on which are pretty interesting either way. For instance:
Firstly, I found 87 major transfers into the Club during that time, of players whom I considered significant. Essentially, this was determined by whether the player was a first team squad member who ever actually pulled on a shirt. So Wellington Paulista and Paul McCallum don't make it but Emmanuel Pogatetz does. The number of actual incoming players was up over a hundred, but we make so many insignificant additions of young players that it would have become impossible to track them all.
Secondly, we have only sold nine players at a profit in that time;
Zavon Hines (£255k profit); Junior Stanislas (£1.1m profit); Nicky Maynard (£800k profit); Rob Hall (£640k profit); Mohamed Diame (£3.5m profit); Stewart Downing (£1.7m profit); Mauro Zarate (£1.6m profit); Nikica Jelavic (£1.1m profit); James Tomkins (£10m profit).
Four of the players are youth team graduates, leaving just five that we have bought and then sold on for a profit. The short termism of our transfer policy is laid bare here, albeit there is also a heavy sense of pragmatism that shines through as we look year on year. We have noticeably taken a horses for courses policy, particularly in our post relegation season, which is how you end up with Joey O'Brien and Dimitri Payet in the same team, I suppose.
And lastly, we have also utilised the loan system heavily during Sullivan's reign, to no great effect. Of the 27 loans we've brought in, by my reckoning only the following 6 could be deemed "hits" and even then it's a bit dicey:
Ilan (10/11); George McCartney (11/12); Carl Jenkinson (14/15); Alex Song (14/15); Victor Moses (15/16); Manuel Lanzini (15/16)
An awful lot of work has gone into this futility.
3. Harvest - 2009/10
So what exactly happened in January 2010? Well, Ilan scored four vital goals to keep us up, whilst Benni McCarthy and Mido put together the basic idea for their hit cable TV show "Man vs Food", whilst eating a KFC family bucket, presumably. So he's a "Hit" and they're a "Miss" and now you get the general gist of it.
|Benni McCarthy||Blackburn||Jan-10||£2.2m||2 (9)||0||Miss|
|Ilan||St Etienne||Jan-10||Loan||6 (5)||4||Hit|
Ilan is actually a rarity as he is a January signing that contributed something. As you'll see when we go through the next few windows, getting players in during January is mostly the same as buying quinoa. Everyone's doing it, you feel like you should be doing it, so you do it. And it serves absolutely no purpose.
4. After The Goldrush - 2010/11
With relegation avoided, Sullivan and Gold decided to dispense with Gianfranco Zola and replace him with Avram Grant. This worked roughly about as well as if they'd replaced the Head Physio with a washing machine.
Sullivan, having loudly decried the need for a Director of Football, announced that he would spearhead recruitment using his extensive network of agents called Barry Silkman and by purchasing players who played well at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. A foolproof plan, I'm sure we can all agree.
His first signing was Thomas Hitzlsperger, the classy German midfielder who promptly got injured before the season started and didn't play until January because of course he fucking did. He is rated as a "Maybe" below but there is little doubt in my mind that had he stayed fit he would have been an excellent buy. Elsewhere, it was mostly crap, and the one that turned out to be good - Winston Reid - wasn't actually useful until two seasons later.
By January, Grant was doing so well that the chairmen tried to replace him with Martin O'Neill but they fucked that up too and so Avram had to plough a lonely furrow right the way through until relegation, ultimately being fired in a kit room in Wigan. Almost like the end of a Richard Curtis movie.
|Pablo Barrera||Pumas (Mex)||Jul-10||£4m||6 (9)||0||Miss|
|Frederic Piquionne||Lyon||Jul-10||£1m||34 (20)||8||Maybe|
|Winston Reid||Midtjylland||Aug-10||£3.5m||146 (10)||8||Hit|
|Lars Jacobsen||Blackburn||Aug-10||Free||22 (2)||0||Maybe|
|Tal Ben Haim||Portsmouth||Aug-10||Loan||8||0||Miss|
|Victor Obinna||Inter Milan||Aug-10||Loan||17 (8)||3||Miss|
|Gary O'Neil||Middlesbrough||Jan-11||£2.5m||33 (15)||3||Hit|
|Demba Ba||Hoffenheim||Jan-11||£650k||10 (2)||7||Hit|
|Wayne Bridge||Manchester City||Jan-11||Loan||15||0||Miss|
|Robbie Keane||Spurs||Jan-11||Loan||5 (4)||2||Miss|
January actually wasn't bad, by our standards, as Sullivan rustled up Demba Ba and Gary O'Neil who both worked out in different ways. Ba scored lots of goals, but due to the weird nature of his deal was able to leave on a free at the end of the season. O'Neil eventually hung around for a couple of seasons and was a reasonable buy at that price. Robbie Keane and Wayne Bridge were the January loanees, and if this article teaches you anything, let it be this - loan signings are generally a waste of time and in particular, loan signings in January should be illegal.
Not very good, stunningly.
5. Southern Man - 2011/12
By the time the 2011/12 season rolled around, we were into Sam Allardyce country. Only now was it possible to see someone other than Sullivan calling the shots in the transfer market as a plethora of experienced heads arrived.
I don't know how many pints of wine it took, but between them Allardyce and Sullivan assembled a fairly cheap, but able, squad who achieved promotion at the first time of asking.
The best buy was certainly Kevin Nolan, who captained the team and helped referees up and down the land understand exactly what they were getting wrong each week. Other gems included Ricardo Vaz Te, Matt Taylor and Joey O'Brien, who all ended up as useful parts in the Premier League as well.
Elsewhere, David Bentley and Henri Lansbury arrived from North London and were both about as useful as a vote for Jill Stein. Lansbury's main contribution was to go in goal during a game at Blackpool, which duly caught Big Sam's attention as he abandoned having a sub goalkeeper for much of the rest of the year, deciding he could rely on Lansbury instead.
This wasn't even close to being the maddest thing that anybody at the Club did, however, as Ravel Morrison arrived during January and set about making Gazza look like Michael Owen.
|Abdoulaye Faye||Stoke||Jun-11||Free||25 (4)||0||Hit|
|Kevin Nolan||Newcastle||Jun-11||£3m||130 (11)||30||Hit|
|Matthew Taylor||Bolton||Jul-11||£2.2m||56 (20)||2||Hit|
|John Carew||Aston Villa||Aug-11||Free||7 (12)||2||Miss|
|Sam Baldock||MK Dons||Aug-11||£2.5m||10 (13)||5||Miss|
|Papa Bouba Diop||AEK Athens||Aug-11||£250k||14 (2)||1||Maybe|
|Guy Demel||Hamburg||Aug-11||Free||68 (8)||1||Hit|
|Joey O'Brien||Bolton||Aug-11||Free||78 (13)||3||Hit|
|George McCartney||Sunderland||Aug-11||Loan||36 (2)||1||Hit|
|Henri Lansbury||Arsenal||Aug-11||Loan||13 (9)||1||Miss|
|David Bentley||Spurs||Aug-11||Loan||2 (3)||0||Miss|
|Ricardo Vaz Te||Barnsley||Jan-12||£510k||37 (14)||15||Hit|
|Nicky Maynard||Bristol City||Jan-12||£1.7m||9 (5)||2||Miss|
|Ravel Morrison||Man Utd||Jan-12||£650k||12 (6)||3||Miss|
This season was also noticeable as it marked the first time we sold any players for a profit under Sullivan and Gold. Academy graduates Zavon Hines and Junior Stanislas were sent to Burnley, possibly as punishment, for a combined £1.4m.
That this was the first revenue generating sale for the new owners perhaps rather highlighted the crappiness of the squad they inherited. That said, they even sold England international and Player of the Year, Scott Parker, for a loss to Spurs, so it could also be that they're just not very good at negotiating.
6. Don't Let It Bring You Down - 2012/13
With promotion came a boatload more cash to spend, and it's here that we begin to see Sullivan's predilection for an expensive loan signing. In came Andy Carroll with a hefty loan fee, and by December he was getting to know all of our medical staff pretty well as he was ruled out for two months with a significant knee injury.
Elsewhere, Matt Jarvis arrived having been identified as being better with crosses than Jesus, and thus thoroughly appealing to Allardyce's Carroll-led attack. Sadly, it turned out that Jarvis wasn't actually adept at crossing the ball for anyone, and after a couple of fairly futile seasons he was packed of to Norwich. We spent £8m on him and received just £2.5m when he left, despite Norwich spending £9m on Stephen Naismith in the same transfer window.
I mean, fucking hell.
|Jussi Jaaskelainen||Bolton||Jun-12||Free||56 (1)||0||Hit|
|Mohamed Diame||Wigan||Jun-12||Free||60 (11)||7||Hit|
|George McCartney||Sunderland||Jul-12||Free||29 (5)||0||Hit|
|Modibo Maiga||Sochaux||Jul-12||£5.1m||13 (21)||4||Miss|
|James Collins||Aston Villa||Jul-12||£2.7m||95 (11)||2||Hit|
|Alou Diarra||Marseille||Aug-12||£2.1m||2 (4)||0||Miss|
|Andy Carroll||Liverpool||Aug-12||Loan||22 (2)||7||Maybe|
|Matt Jarvis||Wolves||Aug-12||£8m||56 (22)||4||Miss|
|Yossi Benayoun||Chelsea||Aug-12||Loan||4 (2)||0||Miss|
|Joe Cole||Liverpool||Jan-13||Free||13 (18)||5||Miss|
|Emmanuel Pogatetz||Wolfsburg||Jan-13||Loan||1 (5)||0||Miss|
|Marouane Chamakh||Arsenal||Jan-13||Loan||2 (1)||0||Miss|
Where we did do well in this return season to the Premier League was to pick up experienced free transfers who would serve the team well for the next couple of years. Jussi Jaaskelainen was steady in goal despite being 56 years old, and Mo Diame and George McCartney were very decent players to tide us over until we were an established top flight team again, and therefore had enough TV money to piss up the wall signing the likes of Nikica Jelavic for a laugh.
There was also a very significant deal here in January, as prodigal son Joe Cole returned home and thrillingly led us to a pulsating 2-2 draw against Man Utd in the FA Cup on his debut. Sadly, he succumbed to injury and he signalled his intention to give up playing professionally by moving to Aston Villa in 2015.
Still, with Premier League status secured, and the Olympic Stadium granted to us in March 2013, the stage seemed set for us to make a huge splash in the summer as we strengthened for our brave new future.
7. Fuckin' Up - 2013/14
And then reality set in.
The summer of 2013/14 saw quite possibly the worst transfer performance ever conducted by a professional football team, and I'm saying that with full recollection of that time Graeme Souness was manager of Southampton and got conned into signing a bloke pretending to be George Weah's cousin.
|Razvan Rat||Shakhtar Donetsk||May-13||Free||11 (4)||0||Miss|
|Andy Carroll||Liverpool||Jun-13||£15m||38 (19)||16||Miss|
|Stewart Downing||Liverpool||Aug-13||£5m||66 (3)||3||Hit|
|Mladen Petric||Fulham||Sep-13||Free||0 (3)||0||Miss|
|Carlton Cole||FFS||Oct-13||Free||17 (32)||8||Maybe|
|Marco Borriello||Roma||Jan-14||Loan||0 (2)||0||Miss|
|Roger Johnson||Wolves||Jan-14||Loan||2 (2)||0||Miss|
|Antonio Nocerino||AC Milan||Jan-14||Loan||2 (8)||0||Miss|
|Pablo Armero||SSC Napoli||Jan-14||Loan||3 (2)||0||Miss|
Romania captain Razvan Rat arrived, and was gone by January, maybe due to vexing Allardyce by insisting on wearing the number 8 shirt despite playing at left back. Carroll joined permanently for £15m and promptly got injured again during the signing of the contract and wouldn't play again until January, in the process demonstrating a hitherto hidden understanding of what happens to West Ham record signings.
Adrian and Stewart Downing were both successful signings, although the former wouldn't establish himself until the following season when Jaaskelainen's two year long wait on the NHS for a hip replacement finally came to an end.
January was notable for being a complete waste of time, even by our standards. Sullivan brought in three players from Italy, suggesting that his extensive scouting network now reached as far as watching Rai Uno, and also Roger "The Relegator" Johnson, who performed memorably as we lost 6-0 at Man City in a not at all embarrassing League Cup semi final defeat.
Carlton Cole also left and then re-signed within a three month span because why the fuck not - we'd only just spent £15m on a striker. Let's face it, we'll probably sign him again next month.
8. Transformer Man - 2014/15
Even David Sullivan, despite not requiring the services of a Director of Football or indeed anyone knowing anything about the game, felt that this was a fairly poor return for his investment. As a result of this remarkable display of self awareness, Tony Henry arrived at the Club as Head of Recruitment, and lo and behold if things didn't suddenly perk up for the 2014/15 season.
The Sullivan staples were still there. Two unconvincing South Americans arrived, in the form of Mauro Zarate and Enner Valencia, although the latter would at least prove his innate suitability for playing for West Ham by getting involved in a low speed vehicle chase away from an Ecuadorian national match relating to unpaid child support. He is currently on loan to Everton, where his main job is to presumably injure Romelu Lukaku in training, and he didn't even manage that.
|Mauro Zarate||Velez Sarsfield||May-14||Free||14 (8)||5||Miss|
|Cheikou Kouyate||Anderlecht||Jun-14||£7m||75 (1)||9||Hit|
|Diego Poyet||Charlton||Jul-14||Free||1 (2)||0||Miss|
|Enner Valencia||Pachuca||Jul-14||£12.75m||38 (16)||8||Miss|
|Alex Song||Barcelona||Jul-14||Loan||25 (3)||0||Hit|
|Carl Jenkinson||Arsenal||Jul-14||Loan||29 (3)||0||Hit|
|Diafra Sakho||Metz||Aug-14||£4.25m||38 (6)||15||Hit|
|Morgan Amalfitano||Marseille||Sep-14||£1m||14 (10)||3||Maybe|
|Doneil Henry||FC Toronto||Jan-15||£1.75m||0||0||Miss|
|Nene||Al Gharafa||Feb-15||Free||0 (8)||0||Miss|
But elsewhere, we were suddenly finding success, and not just with free transfers. Aaron Cresswell and Cheikou Kouyate were not only good additions, but they actually have a resale value too. Diafra Sakho was an under the radar Sullivan signing who hit big initially, before falling out with everyone, driving his car into a wall in Hornchurch and then sustaining the longest running back injury since Dolly Parton. Which is a fairly standard night out in Hornchurch, but not ideal for Premier League strikers.
He was actually due to be sold to West Brom for £16m, which would have marked the biggest sale of the Sullivan era, but wasn't deemed fit enough by Tony Pulis who probably reasoned that a bad back wouldn't be helped by playing for a team who only ever put it in the air.
Alex Song and Carl Jenkinson were both excellent loan signings, although interestingly both were hopeless when they returned the following season. Jenkinson went back to Arsenal with a serious knee injury sustained during the worst twelve minute performance in history, and Song gradually disappeared from view as rumours circulated that he was a malign influence on the impressionable Sakho. Although, I'm not sure I believe a man with this kind of sartorial elegance could really be a bad influence on anyone.
I don't care what you think. I like it
Doneil Henry and Nene also arrived in the most pointless pair of January deals ever. And just consider the competition.
There is a theme here.
9. Like A Hurricane - 2015/16
Despite being in the top four at Christmas 2014, we had nosedived like post Brexit sterling, and Sam Allardyce was duly ushered into the footballing afterlife commonly known as "Sunderland". After a summer of being told to be careful what we wished for, we all wished really hard for some decent signings and a good manager, and were rewarded with Dimitri Payet and Slaven Bilic.
These two, augmented by fine support signings like Angelo Ogbonna, Michail Antonio and Pedro Obiang, led the team up the league and into the promised land of Champions League contention. We ultimately fell short, but there was no doubt that this was a huge step forward in our recruitment process. Even those signings that didn't work were not terribly problematic as Jelavic was sold to a Chinese team for a profit, and Sam Byram may yet prove to be a valuable addition if we can only convince him he doesn't still play for Leeds.
|Dimitri Payet||Marseille||Jun-15||£12.75m||37 (2)||10||Hit|
|Stephen Hendrie||Hamilton Academicals||Jun-15||£1m||0||0||Miss|
|Pedro Obiang||Sampdoria||Jul-15||£5.1m||16 (14)||0||Hit|
|Angelo Ogbonna||Juventus||Jul-15||£9.35m||35 (1)||0||Hit|
|Carl Jenkinson||Arsenal||Jul-15||Loan||13 (7)||2||Miss|
|Alex Song||Barcelona||Aug-15||Loan||8 (4)||0||Miss|
|Manuel Lanzini||Al -Jazira||Aug-15||Loan||23 (3)||6||Hit|
|Victor Moses||Chelsea||Aug-15||Loan||13 (8)||1||Hit|
|Nikica Jelavic||Hull||Sep-15||£3.5m||1 (12)||1||Miss|
|Michail Antonio||Nottingham Forest||Sep-15||£8m||34 (3)||13||Hit|
|Sam Byram||Leeds||Jan-15||£4m||5 (4)||0||Maybe|
|Emmanuel Emenike||Fenerbahce||Jan-15||Loan||5 (8)||0||Miss|
Emmanuel Emenike arrived in January and, shockingly, was terrible. Bear this in mind for the inevitable panic buying this time around.
A. There. Is. Here. Theme.
10. Goin' Back - 2016/17
And suddenly, as swiftly as we were good at transfers, we just as quickly became not good. It is perhaps worth pointing out that the slow devaluation of the Pound against the Euro didn't help, but we were still routinely showing up in global financial leagues as being roughly on par with Inter Milan - a situation that would have been unthinkable even a decade ago.
We had used our TV money wisely in 2015/16 but following it up seems to have proved beyond us. I have written here plenty of times about this seasons efforts, but having announced to the world that we were going to spend "a lot" of money on a striker, we were then totally amazed to find that the likes of Lyon and AC Milan wanted plenty of wedge for Alexandre Lacazette and Carlos Bacca respectively.
With no Champions League football to offer, we weren't likely to attract those types of player cheaply, and we compounded that error by choosing to strengthen the squad rather than the first team. By going for understudies instead of replacements we set ourselves up nicely for a Europa League run that never came, and now a have a squad full of players who aren't good enough to break into a team that was at one stage 4-0 down to West Brom.
|Sofiane Feghouli||Valencia||Jun-15||Free||0 (5)||0||Maybe|
|Manuel Lanzini||Al-Jazira||Jul-15||£10.2m||7 (2)||2||Hit|
|Havard Nordtveit||Borussia M'gladbach||Jul-15||Free||4 (1)||0||Maybe|
|Ashley Fletcher||Man Utd||Jul-15||Free||1 (6)||0||Hit|
|Gokhan Tore||Besiktas||Jul-15||Loan||3 (2)||0||Miss|
|Andre Ayew||Swansea||Aug-15||£20.5m||2 (1)||0||Maybe|
|Edimilson Fernandes||FC Sion||Aug-15||£5.5m||2 (3)||0||Hit|
|Alvaro Arbeloa||Real Madrid||Aug-15||Free||1 (1)||0||Maybe|
|Jonathan Calleri||Deportivo Maldonado||Aug-15||Loan||0 (6)||0||Miss|
|Simone Zaza||Juventus||Aug-15||Loan||5 (2)||0||Miss|
It is, of course, way too early to write anybody off as a failure but Zaza, Calleri and Tore commanded around €10m in loan fees between them and haven't even achieved broken clock status. Zaza will be gone shortly because his deal means another couple of starts triggers an automatic buy clause at €20m, and you can bet your life that Sullivan wants to spend that money on a surer bet than the Italian.
Tore and Calleri equally look out of their depth, and I'm labelling them both as "misses" because so far they've both actually managed to look worse than Emmanuel Emenike which I didn't think was possible.
Andre Ayew at £20m still looks like an insane purchase to me, but I guess we have to accept that £20m might well be the new £7m, as evidenced by the fact that Man Utd have spent £30m on Henrikh Mkhitaryan, just so he can keep Jose Mourinho company by playing Hide and Seek with him in a Manchester hotel.
I like the look of Fletcher and Fernandes, both of whom could already generate a profit if we were so inclined, and of all the names listed above it is the young Swiss who I think will go on to be our most significant signing.
But what of January? We will have money to spend. For all that £45m looks a lot, we received £10m from Palace for James Tomkins in mitigation, and there is the unspent £20m that was budgeted for Zaza.
Sullivan has previously spoken about the fact that there is little value available in January but given that we are liked to be rooted in the bottom three come December he will be under huge pressure to spend. Imagine that stadium half empty in the Championship.
The names linked are frankly terrifying. Fabregas, Ivanovic and even Daniel Sturridge have been mentioned all of whom fit the bill as being either too old, in decline, too injured or having a goal celebration that no human being can stomach.
More encouraging is the link to Inter Milan's Mauro Icardi, who has somehow managed to fall out with the Inter fans as a result of comments written in his autobiography. I feel I should point out that Mauro Icardi is 23 years old.
So, they'll get someone. Maybe they'll get Giroud, or Icardi, or Gabbiadini or someone totally off the wall that we haven't even thought about. And I am fairly concerned that it will cost a fortune.
Paul Walker of KUMB recently calculated that each goal we have purchased through transfer dealings has cost us around £500,000. If you think of the sums involved in football these days that isn't a bad price to pay but I doubt we'll be getting that sort of value in January.
Sullivan will doubtless look for loans again which has so far proven to be an almost complete waste of time. Nobody is loaning out a player in January unless he's injured, fallen out of form or favour or is a fat waste of space (See: Mido). A better approach might be to evaluate how they got it so wrong this summer and try to fix it next year.
The thorny problem that hangs over all of this is Dimiti Payet. At 29 he doesn't want to hang around and wait for the Club to surround him with players at his level. That's another reason why this years regression is so heartbreaking - we are wasting Payet's peak.
Taking Southampton as a comparison, given that we were promoted together, it is telling that they have generated way more in transfer fees than us. They have sold Lallana, Lovren, Schneiderlin, Mane, Pelle and Lambert all for significant sums and just continued to replace them with no fuss at all.
That business model doesn't look hugely sustainable but with a good youth system and shrewd scouting it's worked incredibly well for them. I don't want us to be a selling club but there's no doubt that if you have to sell then having players worth those types of fee makes the pain a lot easier to bear.
That said, if we come to sell Payet, hold on to your hats folks. Look at those transfer dealings above and have a think about whether you think we would be able to adequately replace him? Does lightning really strike twice?
The art of the deal seems to only work one way at West Ham. Buy high, sell low. So don't be surprised if they do something stupid in January.
My thoughts on our transfer activity here - please feel free to let me know where I've gone wrong in the comments.
West Ham since January 2010
Incoming Transfers - 87
Hit - 32 (37%)
Miss - 41 (47%)
Maybe - 14 (16%)
1. Dimitri Payet - £12.75m (2015/16)
2. Aaron Cresswell - £4m (2014/15)
3. Winston Reid - £3.5m (2010/11)
4. Cheikhou Kouyate - £7m (2014/15
5. Kevin Nolan - £3m (2011/12)
1. Andy Carroll - £15m (2013/14)
2. Enner Valencia - £12.75m (2014/15)
3. Modibo Maiga - £5.1m (2012/13)
4. Matt Jarvis - £8m (2012/13)
5. Pablo Barrera - £4m (2010/11)
Left on a Free
1. Kieron Dyer (£10.2m loss)
2. Matthew Upson (£10.7m loss)
3. Luis Boa Morte (£5.7m loss)
4. Julien Faubert (£7.5m loss)
5. Demba Ba (£650k loss)
*All transfer figures taken from www.soccerbase.com or www.transfermarkt.com (Highest used in cases where there are duplicates.
** Please note some figures look high, but this may be due to add-ons or exchange rate movements. All performance statistics accurate as of 14.11.2016.
*** Read more from HeadHammerShark at thehlist.blogspot.co.uk and/or follow him via twitter.
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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