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Our best signing since Payet, says TC

Filed: Wednesday, 11th July 2018
By: Staff Writer

Hammers legend Tony Cottee believes the capture of former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere equates to West Ham's best signing since Dimitri Payet.

Cottee, who made more than 200 appearances for West Ham during two spells called the capture of Wilshere "a real signal of intent" - and believes Gareth Southgate made a mistake by not taking him to Russia.

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"A lot of West Ham fans didnít know what they were getting with Payet, but Iíve been a fan of Wilshere for the last decade," he told Sporting Bet. "West Ham have made other signings, but this signing is at last a real signal of intent from the club to show where they are going.

"Wilshereís family are West Ham supporters and I always think itís great to sign someone whoís got a connection with a club. You need to have players like Wilshere and Noble, who know what it takes to play for the football club, as theyíve grown up around it.

"My only disappointment about the Wilshere move is that he didnít come to West Ham two years ago when he went on loan to Bournemouth.

"I donít agree with the decision to leave Jack Wilshere out of the World Cup Squad," he continued. "I was gutted he didnít go and he will be as well - but heíll get back in the England squad now heíll be playing regular football, no doubt about it.

"If England win the World Cup, Southgate will quite rightly say he chose the right squad. But I do believe that once youíre playing at the highest level, you need players that can unlock defences and I think Wilshere has the ability to do that."

However Cottee also argued that by not being involved, it was easier for West Ham to get the transfer over the line.

"If he played at the World Cup, he may not have left Arsenal and West Ham may have not got him," argued Cottee. "Jack Wilshere will want to come back next season and show everyone what a great player he can be."

And despite hailing Dimitri Payet as one of West Ham's greatest assets of the 21st century, Cottee doesn't believe he should return for a second spell.

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"I donít see Payet coming back as an option," he mused. "Payet had his time at the club and I donít think West Ham need to resign him. In fact I would be astonished if the club resigned him.

"Unfortunately, the manner in which Payet left the club meant the fans were very unhappy with him. He was sensational when he played, right up until he left. He was fundamental in the transitional period between the club moving stadiums, but the West Ham fans have a long memory and he left on bad terms.

"Iím not sure there will be room for him to come back to West Ham, especially with the signing of Wilshere and Andriy Yarmolenko."

A backer of previous incumbent David Moyes, Cottee admits he was slightly disappointed to see the Scot overlooked come the end of last season after he successfully managed to complete his mandate by keeping West Ham in the Premier League.

However he also believes that Manuel Pellegrini is a more than ample substitute - whilst insisting that only time will tell whether the Hammers made the right move by hiring the Chilean.

"I was disappointed that David Moyes didnít get the West Ham job," said Cottee. "I feel he achieved everything he was asked to do.

"I canít understand how Moyes wasnít given the money to spend on bringing in players and now Pellegrini has been given a large amount to spend on improving the team - but I hope things work out for Pellegrini because I want West Ham to be successful.

"In terms of what Pellegrini will bring to the club, I donít think much will change. Only time will tell if he is the right man for the job. The one thing that puts pressure on him is the money heís on. From what Iíve heard itís a very high number and fans will expect him to deliver top quality if that is the case.

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"Iím not sure Moyes would be able to attract the same players that Pellegrini can," he continued.

"Wilshere has said that Pellegrini was a big part in signing for West Ham. Pellegrini has made some good signings so far and he looks like a good appointment. Now West Ham look like theyíll be signing big players from around Europe."

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