Jacob Steinberg singles out Alex Kral and Nikola Vlasic as West Ham transfer strategy failures
The failure to strengthen the West Ham squad during the January transfer window compounded the summer failures, according to the Guardian’s Jacob Steinberg.
Despite record bids being made for the likes of Kalvin Phillips, Raphinha and Darwin Nunez, no reinforcements arrived during the window, and manager David Moyes is known to refuse to spend for the sake of it.
Captain Mark Noble told ex-Hammer Rio Ferdinand’s Vibe With FIVE YouTube show last month, via Football London: “What he has said from day one is he is not going to bring players in for the sake of it.”
But after watching the Irons drop more points in the 1-1 draw with Newcastle yesterday (19 February) Steinberg questioned this stance, writing on his personal Twitter account as part of a long thread about the squad being short: “I get Moyes not wanting to buy for the sake of it. He wanted players who could make an instant impact.
“But does that logic apply to last summer? Kral has done nothing, so Soucek has to keep going.
“Vlasic has looked good in flashes, but he cost £30m and is yet to do much.”
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
It is a valid point to raise since it is widely accepted that the squad needs adding to, not least by the manager himself who was keen to add a defender and a forward in January.
All the noises coming out of the club suggested that money was available to spend and the problem was finding the right targets.
Not wasting money is clearly a positive trait, but that excuse only goes so far if it is you made signings in the summer that haven’t helped as you can’t have it both ways and not be questioned.
Vlasic has flattered to deceive at times while not justifying the price tag, and Kral has barely even featured.
It suggests that it wasn’t the fact it was January that could lead to wasteful signings but an inability to spend in the right places from those holding the money.
Bidding for Leeds’ star duo when there appeared to be no chance of success was a waste of time, while the Nunez deal was reportedly impossible according to Alex Crook of talkSPORT.
So if the decision-makers wanted to strengthen, had the money to do so, and spent a whole month working on unreachable deals, they have questions to answer in that area.
Nobody can argue with the job Moyes has done in coaching the Irons squad to their current heights, but after the failures of the summer window and nothing in the winter version, the brains trust are clearly not doing their job in terms of transfer dealings.