David Moyes has discussed West Ham United’s summer transfer business after strengthening his squad for the 2021/22 season.
With the Hammers competing on four fronts – the Premier League, UEFA Europa League, Emirates FA Cup and Carabao Cup – the manager has brought in four players with extensive European experience, while also completing a permanent deal for Craig Dawson.
The Club's net spend of £63.3m in the summer transfer window ranks fourth in the Premier League behind Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City, according to figures released by Sky Sports.
Goalkeeper Alphonse Areola arrived on a season-long loan from Paris Saint-Germain on 29 July, having won Player of the Year honours at Premier League club Fulham last term. The 28-year-old won the FIFA World Cup with France in 2018 and has made more than 40 European appearances for PSG, Villarreal and Real Madrid.
“Alphonse is an experienced and talented goalkeeper who has played at the highest level and performed very well in the Premier League last season,” Moyes explained. “As we prepare for a very busy schedule, he will provide fantastic competition for the goalkeepers already at the football club and we are going to need to use our squad to ensure compete to the best of our abilities across all competitions.
“We have been aware of his qualities for a long time and we have no doubt he will be another player and character who will enhance our squad. We welcome Alphonse to West Ham United and look forward to working with him.”
“Kurt is a player we have tracked for some time, and we have taken great care and diligence to make the transfer happen,” the managed revealed. “He was always our first choice and I am very happy that he is now our player.
“Kurt will join a squad full of players who are hungry and ambitious. He will provide competition to our squad. He is a strong, powerful player with great experience in the Premier League while he is also at a good age for a centre-back.
“Kurt has enjoyed great success at Chelsea and I can see that he is determined to continue being successful here at the London Stadium. Myself, the coaching staff and players are all looking forward to working with him and we wish him all the very best in his career with us.”
The Irons then completed a deadline day double from the Russian Premier League, bringing in Croatia international attacker Nikola Vlašić from CSKA Moscow on a permanent basis and Czech Republic central midfielder Alex Král on a season-long loan from Spartak Moscow.
Vlašić, 23, has 27 caps for his country, having starred for Hajduk Split as a teenager and excelled at CSKA over the past three seasons, directly contributing to 54 goals, making more chances than any other Russian Premier League player and winning the league’s Footballer of the Year award in 2020.
Moyes explained: “I have been watching him improve over recent seasons – he has got a good goals and assists record during that time. He is also a Croatia international with experience and still being only 23, I feel there is more to come from him.
“I was really impressed with how determined Nikola was to become a West Ham player. It’s that hunger and ambition that fits with what we are trying to build here at the Club.”
Král, also 23, is an energetic central midfield player who has caught the eye with Slavia Prague and Spartak in recent years, while also establishing himself in the Czech Republic squad alongside Tomáš Souček and Vladimír Coufal.
“He will provide good competition in the centre of midfield,” the manager confirmed. “He is another young, talented player who we feel has a big potential and will be capable of adapting to the demands of the Premier League.
“We’ve brought him in on loan initially and, hopefully, over the course of the season he will make a valuable contribution, particularly with our busier schedule of fixtures.
“Alex is another established international player with the Czech Republic, and we hope he has similar characteristics and hunger to that of Tomáš and Vladimír.”
Last but not least, Dawson made his loan move from Watford permanent after an outstanding 2020/21 campaign that saw him keep eight clean sheets and score four goals in 25 appearances as the Irons finished sixth in the Premier League to qualify for Europe.
“Craig's performances, attitude and the impact he’s had demonstrate why he deserves a permanent deal,” the manager said. “He arrived with a wealth of Premier League experience and that's been really important to us.
"He had to be patient but he’s comes in and grabbed his opportunity with both hands. We are always looking to improve the squad and Craig joining us permanently certainly does that.”