West Ham's five best January signings ever: Two play-off final heroes make shortlist

Ricardo Vaz Te

West Ham United have made several astute signings during the January transfer window down the years.

Ahead of the January transfer window, HITC Sport is taking a look at the five best signings that West Ham United have made in the winter since the window's introduction more than a decade ago.

5. Dean Ashton

Dean Ashton celebrates scoring the first goal for West Ham UnitedDean Ashton

Had Dean Ashton not been forced to retire at just 26, it seems impossible to think that he would not be challenging for top spot on this list. Injuries meant that he made just 46 Premier League appearances for the Hammers, before having to call it a day. Without the constant disruption, it seems likely that his tally of 15 league goals would have been significantly better.

4. Ricardo Vaz Te

Ricardo Vaz TeRicardo Vaz Te

Ricardo Vaz Te's record for the Irons is hardly much better than Ashton's and it must be said that most of his goals were scored in the second tier, but he secured his spot in West Ham folklore with the winning goal in the dying minutes of the 2012 play-off final.

3. Matthew Upson

Matthew Upson - West Ham UnitedMatthew Upson

Matthew Upson may not have been a marquee signing, but his consistency and reliability certainly made his arrival an important piece of business. He became the captain during his time with the side. And while he was unable to prevent their relegation in his final season, he still deserves credit for the service he gave the Hammers.

2. Nigel Reo-Coker

West Ham's Nigel Reo Coker shoots at goalNigel Reo Coker

Speaking of leaders, West Ham's acquisition of Nigel Reo-Coker in 2004 proved to be an excellent signing. Though his form dipped at times, he oversaw their return to the top flight and their famous run to survival in 2007. 

1. Bobby Zamora

Reuters / Picture supplied by Action Images *** Local Caption *** RBBORH2005053000618.jpgBobby Zamora

After joining in the January transfer window in 2004, it was during his first full season that he made the biggest impact. Of his 13 goals for the Hammers that term, the final four were the most crucial as he scored three in the play-off semi-final victory over Ipswich and the winning goal against Preston in the final to secure promotion back to the top flight.

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