West Ham sold one goalkeeper to a Championship club this summer and replaced him with an international of 72 caps. Yet, with The Hammers losing each of their first three Premier League games and conceding 10 goals to boot, there’s no shortage of supporters queuing up to claim they were better off with Darren Randolph between the sticks than Joe Hart.
England’s enduring number one has endured a nightmare 12 months and his annus horribilis looks set to extend into another season if his early performances at his new club are anything to go by.
Therefore, you wonder if West Ham would have been better served putting all their efforts into landing a goalkeeper at the top of his game in the here and now – rather than one whose best days seem well behind him.
Spanish publication AS reports that Real Betis would have considered cashing in on Antonio Adan this summer with a fee of around £7.3 million enough to sign him on a permanent basis – and West Ham were interested.
Though only a month older than Hart and far more expensive than the 30-year-old, who joined on a season-long loan from Manchester City, Adan may have been a more sensible addition even if Hammers’ fans may treat another relatively unknown import with trepidation after last summer’s disastrous recruitment drive.
The long-time Real Madrid understudy has shone in the last two seasons - in stark contrast to Hart - to keep Betis relatively free from relegation fears.
In fact, he has been one of the most consistent yet overworked goalkeepers in the Spanish top flight and the only reason he hasn’t added an international cap to his two Under-21 appearances is due to the fact La Roja have a treasure trove of goalkeeping gems at their disposal.
West Ham’s transfer business looked positive on first viewing, bringing in proven talents with Premier League experience. However, after a disastrous start to the season, you wonder whether they will pay for choosing reputation over form.