Twelve in, nine out at Upton Park: A comprehensive look at West Ham's best ever transfer window

West Ham Upton Park

West Ham United were one of the busiest clubs on deadline day, and indeed all summer, but is this their best ever transfer window?

The Hammers have embarked on one of the most important seasons in their history, the last ever at their famous Boleyn Ground home.

And co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold have insisted all along they wanted to do it in style to give Upton Park a fitting send-off.

A change of manager was the first port of call with 'Safety' Sam Allardyce being replaced by Slaven Bilic.

Bilic as a former player would not only understand the 'West Ham Way' but was also recognised for playing the type of football the Hammers faithful can identify with, something which couldn't be said of the previous regime.

A busy summer

On the player front it has been a busy few months too as is the case with any new manager coming in.

The Hammers needing strengthening before letting nine players leave either permanently or on loan this summer.

Strikers Carlton Cole and Modibo Maiga, right back Guy Demel, captain Kevin Nolan and 'keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen were released while star midfielder Stewart Downing was sold to Championship title hopefuls Middlesbrough.

Matt Jarvis has departed on loan to fellow Premier League side Norwich City. Meanwhile, youngsters Diego Poyet and Reece Burke have also been sent out on loan to MK Dons and Bradford City.

But the Hammers have undoubtedly strengthened overall with a net spend of around £25-30 million including loan fees.

Left-back Stephen Hendrie, who signed a pre-contract agreement in the January window, and goalkeeper Darren Randolph were the first to join Bilic's revolution signing from Hamilton and Birmingham City respectively.

They were followed by the signings of Pedro Obiang from Sampdoria, Angelo Ogbonna from Juventus and youngster Martin Samulsen from Manchester City.

Manuel Lanzini, star signing Dimitri Payet and Carl Jenkinson were next through the door.

That was before a quite memorable deadline day in east London where no less than four players were brought in.

Hull City striker Nikica Jelavic, Barcelona midfielder Alex Song, Chelsea star Victor Moses and Nottingham Forest's exciting and powerful winger Michail Antonio all signed up to bolster a buoyant squad in the wake of a stunning 3-0 win over Liverpool, the club's first victory at Anfield for 52 years.

So are West Ham stronger now than they were at the same time last year under Sam Allardyce?

With the likes of Andy Carroll nearing a return to full fitness after another lengthy spell out through injury the answer is overwhelmingly 'yes'.

They have improved every aspect of the team with quality players.

A case for the defence

In goal they have Adrian and Randolph who has, after a shaky start, proved to be a more than able back-up and replacement for the ever-reliable Jaaskelainen.

At the back Jenkinson, one of the stars of last season, has been retained – albeit only on loan for another season from Arsenal.

Last season's Hammer of the Year Aaron Cresswell has signed a new five-year contract with the option to make it seven years, James Tomkins has been tied down to a long-term deal as has star defender Winston Reid who has signed a new six-year deal.

Angelo Ogbonna has come in from Juventus and slotted straight into the side showing a real step up in quality while James Collins is an experienced and reliable back-up.

Strongest midfield for many years

The departure of captain Nolan, who did a great job during his four years at West Ham, looked a risky bit of business by West Ham in light of the sale of Downing and had many fans concerned.

But with the signings of Payet and Obiang before that and now Song, Antonio and Moses West Ham suddenly have one of their strongest midfield units in recent generations.

And more importantly they now have plenty of width and pace, something sorely lacking in home defeats to Leicester City and Bournemouth.

Homegrown Hammer Mark Noble has been unofficially made captain and handed a new five-year deal.

The same sort of deal is in the offing for midfield fans' favourite Cheik Kouyate while Bilic also has talented youngsters Reece Oxford, Martin Samulsen and Josh Cullen – who signed a new long-term deal on deadline day – to call on.

Manuel Lanzini starred against Liverpool at Anfield and was likened to David Silva by Bilic. He showed bags of pace and skill and could be a key player.

Major flop Matt Jarvis has found a club willing to take him on loan in Norwich. Meanwhile Morgan Amalfitano has been banished from the first team squad but has not left meaning he could yet be brought back from the cold should he be needed.

The frontline

This is where West Ham needed strengthening most, particularly after the departures of Cole, Maiga and to a certain degree Nolan.

Outcast Mauro Zarate has been brought back from his Allardyce-induced exile and proved he can be a valuable squad member.

Carroll is nearing a return to the first team, although for how long remains to be seen.

Valencia is out until November but Jelavic has signed meaning in the short team he and Diafra Sakho will provide the goal threat.

It is probably the one area where the Hammers could have done better and perhaps signed one quality forward.

But they are at a premium as has been exposed by a lack of movement in terms of strikers across the world this summer so although Jelavic may not excite fans, it was important to bolster Bilic's options nonetheless.

Overall West Ham look a lot stronger than last season and have been one of the busiest clubs.

With their current squad, the aim for the season should most certainly be top half. The players have already proved with wins at Arsenal and Liverpool they have the ability to compete with the top clubs.

With the deadline day reinforcements it turned out to be West Ham's best ever transfer window.

And they should now start to see improvements in their recent poor home record too.

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