The summer transfer window is far from an area that West Ham United have excelled in the during the last few seasons, their recruitment coming under much scrutiny during the first two campaigns at London Stadium.
Managers such as Slaven Bilic and David Moyes, more so the former as he had much longer in East London, have struggled to sign the right player at the right time, and to even get some deals over the line after a month or two-month-long sagas.
The situation is very familiar to members of the Claret & Blue Army, who have come to accept that a Hammers transfer window will never pass by without the utmost drama and stress, and ultimately, negative headlines.
Since moving from Upton Park, it didn’t matter whether it was buying or selling players, something always had to go wring, you only have to look at the departures of the likes of Dimitri Payet and Diafra Sakho or the failed purchases of such names as Carlos Bacca and William Carvalho.
Even when they did manage to sign players, as we will find out later in this article, their performances on the field failed to match up to their fees or wages.
This has made windows such as summer 2016/2017 and summer 2017/2018 ultimate failures, which is why, this summer, fans of the club have been pleasantly surprised.
Although, the seven first-team players that have been purchased, excluding Xande Silva and Sebastian Nebyla, are yet to prove themselves in the Premier League for West Ham, their calibre and the way the club has handled their business has been more than refreshing.
This has been lauded from fans and pundits from throughout the footballing world, prompting many to predict a big season for the East Londoners, much more so than in previous years.
They might not be done yet either, with the rumoured signings of names such as Arsenal forward Lucas Perez and Brazilian star Bernard a possibility before Thursday’s first-ever early August deadline.
These arrivals have been coupled with several departures, most notably that of midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate to Crystal Palace, leaving the squad well-balanced even if there are no further incomings or outgoings.
Balance is the thing that has been missing for the club in the two windows that we discussed previously, in the first, too many signings were made and in the second, not enough.
When the club made the bold move to London Stadium from their historic home of the Boleyn Ground, they had just come up a few points shy of a place in the next season’s UEFA Champions League and recorded their highest-ever PL points tally.
The money that resulted from this was immediately invested, however, not wisely, with a whopping 31 players coming in, three of which were loans.
With only four players being released, the statistic that really tells the story is the fact that only seven of the 13 are still with the team in some capacity, two of them youngsters, in main, the new arrivals did little more than upset the balance of the squad.
In the wake of a relegation battle which Bilic’s men did manage to survive, the fear the following summer that they would over-sign once more and create another poor campaign for themselves was rife.
With this in mind, only six stars arrived in the bigger of the two windows, two would barely see first-team football, while just as many departed, players that had been heavily involved at first-team level.
This made for a thread bear squad with many late-August deals collapsing and when injuries struck mid-way through the season, this showed, with the club tumbling down the table and only securing Premier League safety on the penultimate weekend under Moyes, as a result.
Fast forward a couple of months, a change of manager and a change in the way that transfers are processed within the walls of rush Green training ground, and things couldn’t be more different.
Co-Chairman and majority shareholder David Sullivan announced towards the back end of last season that he would be taking a step back from transfer dealings, paving the way for the club to appoint a Director of Football.
A man that Pellegrini had worked with before in a similar role, Mario Husillos was chosen and with his experience and links to some of the best teams in the world, it would appear that he has done a wonderful job so far.
First through the door was Ryan Fredericks, a full-back considered by many to be the best in the Sky Bet Championship in 2017/2018, he was followed by the then club-record capture of French youth International Issa Diop.
Swansea city goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski and boyhood Hammer Jack Wilshere from Arsenal caught the eye, as did the near-£20 million signing of Andriy Yarmolenko from Borussia Dortmund and Paraguayan International Fabian Balbuena for an undisclosed fee.
However, the marquee man was surely club-record signing, for a fee of over £40 million, Brazilian International Felipe Anderson from Lazio, he and all the others, have made a strong name for themselves during pre-season.
Pellegrini’s West Ham may look like they have finally got things right in the summer transfer window, but the true yelling factor will be the start of the Premier League season, a historic trip to Anfield next Sunday afternoon, which new signing’s star will shine brightest?