West Ham United's transfer policy - Madness or a Masterstroke?

Sam Allardyce

Sam Allardyce has made several early forays into the transfer market, but Hammer's fans might not be entirely delighted with the players they are currently being linked with.

West Ham have not hung about this January, confirming the signing of Joe Cole and the permanent signing of 18 year old Sean Maguire. They have also secured Arsenal's Marouane Chamakh on loan until the end of the season.

Whilst Cole and Chamakh have had good spells at previous clubs, those days are well in the past now - a promising cup debut for Cole has given hope, but Maguire is unlikely to make an immediate impact. As such, how pleased can West Ham fans be with their business so far?

West Ham have already shown how ineffective short term deals for ageing injury prone players can be, with Yossi Benayoun heading back to Chelsea after an impotent spell in East London this season. Joe Cole had a decent spell on loan at Lille last season, but it has been many years since he was playing his best football.

There is also the question of where he will slot into the side, with Kevin Nolan ensconced in the position behind the striker, and Cole not quick enough to provide the kind of service from the flanks that Allardyce usually demands from his wingers.

Chamakh is only 28, and so can be seen as a less risky move in terms of his fitness, but his performances with Arsenal have been rightly derided over the past couple of seasons, and it's difficult to see what Allardyce has seen in the Moroccan that makes him worth bidding for.

Even in his best days at Bordeuax Chamakh was not prolific, and with his confidence surely at an all-time low it would be highly surprising if he dazzled the league with a revival at West Ham.

Allardyce will no doubt be hoping he can turn these players around, but considering he is already trying to do that with Andy Carroll with limited success, West Ham could end up lumbered with too many players he is trying to work his magic on. Maguire is one for the future, but Chamakh and Cole's playing days are perhaps already well behind them, and at this stage it is tricky to believe that West Ham's moves this January will pay off.

image: © Ben Sutherland

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