West Ham United's transfer window: Unfinished business for Bilic

West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic

With the transfer window now shut, we take a look at the transfer activity of West Ham United and grade how well they have done.

West Ham manager Slaven BilicWest Ham manager Slaven Bilic

West Ham United's summer transfer window was one characterised by missed targets, namely Alexandre Lacazette, and additions that still don’t give the answer as to whether the club has been strengthened or not.

The failure to land Lacazette will feel like a missed opportunity for Slaven Bilic, but with a number loan signings and big money moves, West Ham fans still have reasons to smile at the transfer activity.

We take a look back at West Ham’s transfers over the summer and grade how well they’ve done.

Grade: B

Missing out on a player of Lacazette’s quality was always going to be hard to get over and Bilic has set out to counteract the setback by adding a series of loan players and proven Premier League signings. Lacazette is highly thought of and alongside attracting West Ham's attention, the Frenchman has also been interesting Arsenal, with both clubs entering bids for his services over the summer. 

Such was Bilic's need to bring the Lyon frontman in that it was reported earlier this week by Sky Sports that West Ham had earlier in the summer tabled a bid of £42.7 million that was promptly refused by the club. With it becoming clear Lacazette was not going to become a West Ham player, Bilic turned to other options in their pursuit of a striker, namely Andre Ayew.

Olympique Lyon v Caen - French Ligue 1Olympique Lyon v Caen - French Ligue 1

The addition of Ayew from Swansea City for £20.5 million is a bold move. Ayew was one of the shining lights in a poor season for the Welsh side. The 26-year-old was Swansea’s top scorer last season with 12 goals and alongside the signing of Manuel Lanzini from Al Jazira Club is one of West Ham’s proven Premier League signings.

Chelsea's John Terry in action with West Ham United's Andre AyewChelsea's John Terry in action with West Ham United's Andre Ayew

Like Ayew, Lanzini is proven in the Premier League, having spent last season on loan at West Ham. The Hammers were keen to complete the signing on a permanent deal for the 23-year-old Argentine after he put in a number of exciting performances last season.

Aside from the signings of Lanzini and Ayew, Bilic has done a large proportion of his work in the transfer market over the summer in completing loan signings. While they did miss out on bringing in Lacazette, they have added the season-long loan signing of Italian Simone Zaza from Juventus.

Bilic will be hoping Zaza is a little more prolific in front of goal than he was from the penalty spot at Euro 2016. West Ham, if they are to take steps forward, need a reliable striker, and there is a belief that while Zaza has not been deadly in Serie A, he will bring goals to West Ham. 

Zaza is one of a number of loan signings Bilic has made in attempts to strengethen over the summer. In addition to the Italian, West Ham have completed the loan signings of Jonathan Calleri from Deportivo Maldonado, Havard Nordtveit from Borussia Monchengladbach, Gokhan Tore from Besiktas, and Sofiane Feghouli from Valencia.

West Ham's Sofiane Feghouli scores their third goalWest Ham's Sofiane Feghouli scores their third goal

Bilic has also made more long-term transfers in completing the signings of Arthur Masuaka from Olympiakos for £6 million, and Edmilson Fernandes from FC Sion for £5.5 million, and will be hoping that these two signings blossom at the London Stadium. 

But while all these signings are a significant step forward, the decision to allow James Tomkins to move to Crystal Palace for £10 million is arguably a strange move. Tomkins will be missed, particularly if Bilic gets a couple of injuries to his squad, but in assessing how well West Ham have acted over the summer it is fair to say that while they’ve made steps towards strengthening, it remains unclear as to whether they have actually improved upon what they already have.

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