West Ham prepared to spend big this window, but will they spend well?

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West Ham United are not a club with a particularly healthy recent record in the transfer market.

In the last two seasons, the Hammers have splashed £10m on Jordan Hugill from Preston North End, £24m on Andre Ayew from Swansea City and £9m on Jose Fonte from Southampton.

They account for a near £140m transfer outlay over the last 24 months.

Only four of the 15 players signed using those funds – including loans – can be considered a genuine success.

Yet this isn’t a problem confined to just the recent past. The likes of Savio Nsereko, Matt Jarvis and Pablo Barrera have all been brought in for relatively good money across the last decade.

There are plenty more unsuccessful signings to add to that list. And that proves the point that the East Londoners need to be wiser with their money.

Why are we mentioning this?

Well, messrs David Gold and David Sullivan have reportedly promised new manager Manuel Pellegrini the biggest budget of any West Ham manager in Premier League history.

That may not prove an inspired message if the Hammers are looking to get good value out of the transfer market. However, it does show some genuine ambition from the much-criticised board.

We’ve already identified the reasons why the Chilean is a huge coup for the Irons.

But he needs to be able to bring in his own signings for the appointment to work to full effect.

Reims stopper Edouard Mendy is said to be the first name on the 64-year-old’s shortlist, as the East Londoners look to shore up between the sticks.

West Bromwich Albion pair Salomon Rondon and Ahmed Hegazi and Burnley’s James Tarkowski have also been linked to the London Stadium in recent days.

Although it remains to be seen whether any of the aforementioned quartet will actually join the East Londoners, it does show that the club are targeting the right positions.

And for a club that have squandered pound note after pound note on needless additions in recent years that could be half the battle won already.

The next two months or so could be a defining period in the history of this 122-year-old East End institution – as long as they get it right off the field first.

All Odds and Markets correct as of date and publication

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Nick Murphy

Nick is a graduate of the University of East Anglia where he doubled up as the sports editor of the student newspaper Concrete. He also supports Dagenham & Redbridge and previously edited the matchday programme at Victoria Road. Other passions include darts, cricket, speedway and horse racing.