Over the years, West Ham have become known for spending big and not doing enough from those big signings. It has been seen this year itself, as the signature of Sebastien Haller hasn’t gone according to plan. Pablo Fornals has also struggled, while another previously expensive signing in Felipe Anderson hasn’t made much of an impact.
But that is where the irony for the Hammers lies. Despite having spent so much over the years, it is the underrated signing of Robert Snodgrass that has reaped the rewards this season. The Scot arrived at West Ham from Hull City in the winter of 2017 for a fee of £10.2 million and this season has been the best of his time at the London club so far.
When the more expensive buys have failed to make an impact or settle in, Snodgrass has often proved to be a difference maker for the Irons. So much so that he possibly deserves to win the club’s Player of the Year award as well.
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Statistically, Snodgrass has contributed to the most number of goals for the club this season- ten. He has five goals and five assists to his name. Anderson does have four assists to his name, but Snodgrass has been a level above everyone else in terms of creating goals.
As per FBRef, Snodgrass has a tally of 0.60 goals (minus penalties) plus assists per 90 minutes this season. That is the highest in the side and as much as 0.17 more than second-placed Andriy Yarmolenko.
Snodgrass has come up with the third-highest number of shot-creation actions for the Hammers- 3.04. That is only behind Anderson and Manuel Lanzini and they aren’t far too ahead at all. But Snodgrass is in a planet of his own for the most number of shot-creation actions from deadball situations. His number is at 1.43- well more than Lanzini’s tally of 0.80.
Snodgrass’ contributions though, have come at crucial times as well. Against Brighton, West Ham had gone 3-0 up in the first-half thanks to a brace from the Scot and an assist from him. The game did end 3-3 but Snodgrass wasn’t exactly responsible for that.
He had scored once in the club’s 1-1 draw against Sheffield United and got a vital assist in a 1-1 draw against Everton as well. So in hindsight, his contributions have been very valuable and if he hadn’t done all that, the Hammers might have been in deeper relegation trouble.
Snodgrass also has a battling mentality in him that the team needs at this point. He has won 1.2 tackles per game and it shows how he is made for David Moyes’ hardworking and pragmatic system.
He has completed only 0.8 dribbles per game, but he’s come up with 1.4 key passes per game. So it shows a lot about his style. He won’t do the flashy stuff of taking players on, beat them like someone like Anderson would. He is more direct about things and just want to create chances more than anything.
He is 31 and has been more important to the club than any other player. While it shows how poor the transfers have been at West Ham, it also shows why Snodgrass deserves a lot of credit for how he’s been this season.