West Ham summer signing best placed to make huge impact


The Premier League season may only be just about to begin, but if there is one thing news.ladbrokes have learned over the off season it’s that it’s never too early to hand out an award.

Staying true to their dedication to celebration, we proudly present the inaugural “Most Likely To Be The Signing Of The Summer Award”, for which the below three nominees are presented:

Rickie Lambert – West Brom

The Baggies wrapped up a £3m deal for the former Liverpool striker a week before the start of the season and, provided they can keep hold of Saido Berahino, can revitalise the 33-year-old’s career.

Forget his bit-part stay at Anfield, the real Rickie Lambert thrived in a Southampton side with pacy young sidekicks to feed off.

Playing alongside Berahino will redeliver the England man to his strengths of playing with his back to goal, linking play and finishing crosses.

His new club are 5/1 to spring a surprise win over Manchester City in the first Monday Night Football of the season.

Dimitri Payet – West Ham

West Ham were a refreshing bundle of attacking intent in the first half of last season, with Stewart Downing pulling all the right strings from the number 10 position.

The club’s post-Christmas slide down the league table coincided with the former England international’s flaming out and subsequent replacement.

Payet is the man trusted to create for the Hammers now and, with 34 assists in the last three campaigns in France, looks far better placed for a sustained spell of success.

Toby Alderweireld – Tottenham

The £11.5m capture from Atletico Madrid was a dominant member of the second-best defensive outfit in the Premier League while on loan at Southampton last season. The 26-year-old arrives at White Hart Lane just when they need a player of his repute most.

Tottenham conceded the most goals of any side to finish above the fold last term and have since overhauled their backline to correct the problem.

Alderweireld is the marquee arrival of that influx and his previous partnership with Jan Vertonghen at the heart of Ajax’s defence bodes well.

Winner: Payet – The Frenchman just edges out Spurs’ new man

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.