West Ham's 'forgotten signings' XI; featuring Yavin Katan

West Ham's Mido in action

We pick a West Ham United XI with players you may have forgotten signed for the club.

 

Any memories West Ham United supporters have of goalkeeper Jan Lastuvka will likely be bad ones. The Czech Republican stopper, a two-time title winner with Shakhtar Donetsk, arrived at West Ham on a season-long loan in 2008. On his debut for the club, Lakstuvka made a decisive error to gift Watford a 3rd round League Cup victory over the Hammers. It proved to be the defining moment of Lastuvka's West Ham career, as he wouldn’t feature again for the rest of the season.

Mauricio Taricco is a fondly remembered by Tottenham Hotspur’s supporters, but few will recall his brief spell at West Ham. The versatile fullback, who spent five years at Spurs, joined the Irons on a free transfer in 2004, only to be injured 27 minutes into his debut against Millwall. With a torn hamstring likely to keep him out for an extended period, Tauricco agreed to cancel his contract and retire from the game – a move which was applauded by the club’s hierarchy.

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After impressing in South American football, Walter Lopez earned a one-year deal with West Ham in the summer of 2008. The 22-year-old fullback, known for his willingness to get into attacking positions, had to wait until the turn of the year for his first appearance in an Irons shirt, as a late substitute against Manchester City. Lopez featured four more times off the bench - amounting to 20 minutes of action - before being released in the summer.

Hayden Fox and Ragnvald Soma are the centre-backs in this XI. Fox joined from Japanese side Sanfrecce Hiroshima in 2002, only to be shipped out on loan to the Belgian league with KV Mechelen. The Australian returned to play 12 games for the club before following Harry Redknapp, the manager who originally signed him for the Hammers, to Portsmouth.

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Soma joined the Hammers a year before Fox, but also failed to make a mark during his time at the Boleyn Ground. The Norwegian failed to settle into Premier League football, featuring in the 5-0 defeat to Everton in September and the 7-1 defeat to Blackburn Rovers a month later. Soma returned to Bryne on a free transfer at the end of the 2001/2 season.

Jobi McAnuff and Laurent Courtois take their places in the wings. McAnuff was enjoying a growing reputation in football when his performances for cash-strapped Wimbledon earned him a move to West Ham in January of 2004. However, the winger was largely restricted to substitute appearances under Alan Pardew and he would leave for Cardiff City just six months later.

West Ham signed Courtois from Toulouse after the left-winger helped keep the club in Ligue 1. Courtois made his debut for the Hammers off the bench in the 2-1 defeat to Liverpool at the start of the 2001/2 season but failed to nail down a place in the side. His final appearance for the Irons came in the 5-1 defeat to Chelsea.

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In January of 2006, Yaniv Katan brought to end an his eight-year association with Maccabi Haifa to sign for the Hammers. However, the Israel attacking centre-mid struggled to break into Alan Pardew's flourishing side, which featured fellow countryman Yossi Benayoun. Katan returned to Maccabi Haifa the following season, where he went on to notch up another 200 appearances until his retirement in 2014.

Katan is joined in the centre of midfield by Nigel Quashie. Alan Curbishley signed the in-form midfielder from West Bromwich Albion, where he had been club captain under Tony Mowbray, in January of 2007. The Scotsman failed to pick up a win in his first eight games for the club, including a 4-0 drubbing by Charlton, before a foot injury ruled him out for the rest of the campaign. Quashie would never play for the club again, leaving for Queens Park Rangers in 2010 following loan spells with Birmingham City, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Milton Keynes Dons.

Mido and Henri Camara make up a goal-shy strike force in this ‘forgotten’ XI. The former joined the Hammers on a £1,000 per week salary, according to The Daily Mail, in order to prove himself in the English game. Mido, who had stints with Tottenham, Middlesbrough and Wigan, would be on the losing end in six of his nine games for the club until his release at the end of the season.

It was a similar story for Henri Camara, who failed to score in an uneventful loan spell from Wigan in 2007. The striker was only on the winning side twice during ten games for the club.

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