It’s September 1, the transfer window is over and there will be no new faces at West Ham until at least January 1, when the window re-opens again after a four month hiatus.
Now, all Hammers will be looking forward to matchday and seeing their mates, maybe cracking open a few beers and watching their players try to climb up the Premier League table after a poor start to the new campaign.
The Hammers brought in five new players this summer, breaking their transfer record to sign Marko Arnautovic and splashing £16m on Javier Hernandez, Sead Haksabanovic didn’t cost too much, while Joe Hart came in on loan which cost cash and it was only Pablo Zabaleta that arrived for nothing.
But with the number of departures this summer as well, there is two words on a lot of West Ham fans’ lips – net spend.
Slaven Bilic made a point in previous press conferences in that despite spending more cash than normal, they also offloaded players and wages off the books at the Hammers as well which balances it out.
So, let’s look at the figures.
Marko Arnautovic – £25m, Javier Hernandez – £16m, Sead Haksabanovic – undisclosed, Joe Hart – loan, Pablo Zabaleta – free
Havard Nordtveit (Hoffenheim, £7.2m), Enner Valencia (Tigres, undisclosed), Reece Oxford (Borussia Monchengladbach, loan), Raphael Spiegel (Boavista, free), Stephen Hendrie (Southend, free), Alvaro Arbeloa (retired), Sam Howes (Watford, undisclosed), George Dobson (Sparta Rotterdam, undisclosed), Jack Fitzwater (Forest Green, loan), Darren Randolph (Middlesbrough, £5m), Ashley Fletcher (Middlesbrough, £6.5m), Josh Cullen (Bolton, loan), Reece Burke (Bolton, loan), Kyle Knoyle (Swindon, free), Sofiane Feghouli (Galatasaray, £4m), Robert Snodgrass (Aston Villa, loan)
Total net spend – £17.3m
That total net spend puts West Ham a lowly 15th in the table of Premier League clubs. Teams that had a nigher net spend include Newcastle (£23.7m), Crystal Palace £31.1m, Huddersfield (£38.9m) and Brighton (£39.65m).
Net spend might not mean much to some but that would have obviously been a lot higher should the Hammers have closed the £35m-£40m deal to sign William Carvalho but what will irk most is the number of players in, to number of players who have gone from the club.
The Hammers squad is decidedly thin on the ground heading into an important period of the season following the international break. We have already seen with Arnautovic’s three-game ban how stretched the squad is and if – god forbid – an injury happened to Hernandez, the club will have serious problems.
Bilic has maintained he is happy with his squad – he desperately wanted Carvalho, however – but in terms of pure transfer fees, West Ham have made a profit this window.
Why is net spend an issue to some fans though? The money is available at the Hammers but it looks as if the board were not willing to spend it, look how hard they chased Carvlaho only to eventually get cold feet. Had the Hammers not had such a bad start to the season, it’s easy to assume that cheque would have been cut for the Portuguese star.
The net spend debate will continue, and the only way it will end is with success which is tough to determine for the club at the moment. Survival? Finishing between 10th and 15th? After a long summer, it could be a long winter, too.