Try as you might to convince yourself that transfer deadline day is nothing short of a crass pageant of fake news that does nothing but highlight modern football’s obsession with money. “The game’s gone” you may have been heard to remark on occasion but come 5pm on Thursday I suspect that you, like thousands of others around the country, were sneaking glance after glance at the nearest sporting news outlet to keep up to date with your team’s transfer activities.
So-called marquee signings will dominate the headlines until a game of football is actually played and fans, pundits and journalists alike will use all of their football knowledge to decide which players will make what difference to which teams.
For Manchester United that maybe Harry Maguire; for Arsenal perhaps David Luiz; and for Newcastle maybe it could even be Andy Carroll.
The one who will be the biggest asset for West Ham, however, was not signed in this window. In fact, he is not even a player.
Mario Husillos was appointed West Ham’s Director of Football in June of 2018 after coming highly recommended by Manuel Pellegrini, whom he previously worked with at Malaga.
Since Husillos has been in charge of transfers at West Ham we have seen the team take on a completely different look. The season before Husillos was appointed, West Ham’s marquee signings were Pablo Zabaleta, Patrice Evra, Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez. On the face of it, these are not awful additions but they are such standard, cliché West Ham signings. Players with proven Premier League experience but past their peak and a quick fix to a big problem.
In the three transfer windows, the Argentine Director has had with us so far he has brought in the likes of Issa Diop, Felipe Anderson, Pablo Fornals and Sebastien Haller. The difference in the type of player we are now looking to sign is striking. These are young players that will grow with the team. None of them had previous Premier League experience before joining the club so perhaps they are something of a risk, but I would much rather be taking risks on exciting future talents that will help our teams progress than to spend another ten years signing has-beens to paper over the cracks.
Since Pellegrini and Husillos have taken the reigns David Gold, Sullivan and Karen Brady have taken something of a backseat and I for one am more than alright with that.
The style of play that Pellegrini and West Ham are starting to produce comes as much from the Director of Football as it does the manager. Our club is in extremely good hands with these two South Americans at the helms and it is all I can do to pray that it stays that way for the foreseeable future.