What comes to your mind, when you think of West Ham United? Most of the people will think of their recent English academy graduates, like Frank Lampard, Joe Cole, Rio Ferdinand, Michael Carrick, Jermain Defoe or Glen Johnson.
And no one can also forget that three West Ham players were members of the 1966 World Cup final-winning England team: Captain Bobby Moore and goalscorers Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters.
However, the club has also signed some players which turned out to be disaster for the team. In this article, let us have a look at some of the worst West Ham signings ever.
Here are the 10 worst West Ham signings ever –
- ROBERTO JIMENEZ
The 33-year-old Spaniard joined the Hammers from Espanyol in the summer of 2019 and deputised for the injured Lukasz Fabianski in the autumn. But a series of high-profile mistakes blighted his time in the Premier League
During his time at West Ham, Roberto conceded 17 goals, including three in three successive games in December. In the last appearance of that run, against Tottenham, he was ridiculed by his own supporters.
Roberto was loaned out to Alaves until the end of the season after just 10 appearances. He is definitely one of the worst West Ham signings ever.
The fourth all-time highest scorer of Arsenal featuring in the worst signings list of another London club is a story in itself. In 1976-77, the partnership of Malcolm Macdonald and Frank Stapleton had become Arsenal’s first-choice attacking duo and Radford only played twice in the first four months.
Unable to stake a place in the side, Radford moved on to West Ham United in December 1976 for £80,000. After a year and 28 league appearances and no goals with the Hammers, Radford joined Blackburn Rovers in 1977. Wow! That’s some stat, no goals for the club in all competition in the entire season and add to that 28 league starts and also the amount of expectations he came with, makes it enough of a case for Radford to be in this list. The reason why he’s so down in this list is because at the end of the day no one can deny his quality or the amount of effort he put into his games.
His exploits attracted the attention of West Ham United, who signed him for a fee of £600,000 in August 1988. He made his debut in a 4–0 defeat to Southampton. His stay at the Boleyn Ground proved to be largely unsuccessful as an initially promising strike partnership with Leroy Rosenior floundered as he scored only six goals in 25 First Division games as John Lyall‘s “Hammers” suffered relegation in 1988–89.
Kelly also failed to find form for the club under new boss Lou Macari in the Second Division, scoring just two goals in 24 matches of the 1989–90 campaign. I think that I have proven my point here, 2 unsuccessful seasons, the second one being in the second division and scoring a total of 8 goals in 49 matches is as bad as it sounds.
Okay, let me start by saying that in 2008, Ljungberg was placed 11th in Arsenal.com’s Gunners’ Greatest 50 Players. Ahh! There’s something about Arsenal legends and West Ham failed signings, may be it’s the fans, who knows? Here we go again.
On 23 July 2007, after nine years at Arsenal, Ljungberg joined London rivals West Ham United on a four-year contract. Ljungberg made his West Ham United debut on the opening day of the 2007/08 Premier League season, in West Ham’s 0–2 home defeat by Manchester City on 11 August, a game in which he was also captain.
In his last game of the season, Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor accidentally landed on top of him while trying to jump over him, breaking his ribs. The injury sidelined Ljungberg for the rest of the season. In May, it was reported that Ljungberg was offered £3m to tear up his contract. This was quickly dismissed by both Ljungberg’s agents, Claes Elefalk and Scott Duxbury, West Ham’s chief executive.
In June 2008, Ljungberg retired from the Swedish National team stating, “The simple fact is the physical strain of playing on the national team and in club football for such a long time has finally taken its toll. And that is why I have decided to concentrate on playing for West Ham United and that is where my focus will be.”
Following the start of training camp, Ljungberg was nowhere to be seen. Many speculated a transfer was in the works despite Elefalk’s claims that Ljungberg was to return. Days later, Ljungberg agreed to terminate his contract only after one year into the four-year deal for a sum of £6 million. Ljungberg stated afterward, “I gave my all at West Ham and enjoyed my time there but the decision is the best for the both of us. Now, I will take my time to consider my football future.”Phew! What a movie!
6. LUíS BOA MORTE
Boa Morte signed for West Ham United in January 2007 on a three and a half year contract for an undisclosed fee, which was believed to be around £5million.
On 29 July 2009, Boa Morte picked up a serious injury in the pre-season friendly against Tottenham Hotspur. West Ham were playing in the Barclays Asia Trophy in Beijing when Boa Morte got his studs stuck in the ground, twisted his knee and suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
Boa Morte made his comeback from injury on 13 April 2010, playing 45 minutes in a reserve team 4–1 defeat by Wolves reserves. Making an appearance in the first team for the first time since the end of 2008–09 season he opened the scoring for West Ham against Manchester City in a 1–1 draw on 9 May 2010. It was his first goal for West Ham for over three years.
In June 2010, West Ham Chairman David Sullivan announced that Boa Morte had been offered a new deal as his contract was due to finish at the end of the 2009–10 season. On 17 June 2010, Boa Morte signed a new two-year contract saying that he was looking forward to working with new West Ham manager, Avram Grant for the next two seasons. In August 2011 Boa Morte’s contract with West Ham was cancelled by mutual consent. What a whirlwind of a career in East London!