10. Rigobert Song
Song had not impressed at all in three years at Anfield, so it was a strange decision for West Ham to pay almost exactly the same price Liverpool had paid for the defender. Even weirder was the claim that Song could be a replacement for Rio Ferdinand, who had moved to Leeds. And weirdest of all was Song saying that he didn’t want this being stated as it was derogatory to his own talents. Just 24 games in two years was enough for West Ham to realise their mistake.
9. Calum Davenport
Davenport joined after having three seasons of almost no first team football in north London at Tottenham, and then promptly had three seasons of almost no football in east London. At the start of his final season, he was involved in a domestic stabbing incident which ended his West Ham career. But even before that, the £3million spent on him didn’t look cracking value for money.
8. Florin Raducioiu
He was only aged 26 when he joined West Ham for £2.6million and had been playing for AC Milan just a year earlier. He never settled in at the club and fell out with Harry Redknapp on numerous occasions. In addition, he regularly drifted out of games, and left after just one season and two Premier League goals. The Hammers did at least get some return on the purchase.
7. Joey Beauchamp
A crazy one really. Signed from his boyhood club Oxford by West Ham in 1993 for £1million (a good amount of money at the time), Beauchamp lasted 58 days and never made an appearance for the club. The midfielder complained about the traffic while commuting to training from Oxford, and joined Swindon Town after less than two months at the club.
6. Alessandro Diamanti
England’s penalty shootout killer, Diamanti was possibly taking vengeance for his dreadful time in England as West Ham were relegated two years ago. Despite signing a five-year-deal at the club (and commanding a transfer fee of £6million) Diamanti lasted less than 12 months and scored 7 goals (although four were penalties). He then joined Brescia for £1.8million after West Ham’s relegation.
5. Titi Camara
We could almost re-write the entry for Rigobert Song: he had not impressed at Anfield, and yet West Ham paid a similar price to that paid by Liverpool, after which he set about impressing absolutely no-one with his efforts in a Hammers’ shirt. He stayed for three seasons and yet played just 14 games, never scoring.
4. Don Hutchison
Never go back, they say, and quite why West Ham chose to break their club record fee to re-sign Hutchison for £5million, only a few years after they had sold him, is a mystery, especially considering he was 30 at the time. Hutchison stayed for four seasons but only made 60 league appearances. He was released on a free after his contract expired and joined rivals Millwall.
3. Marco Boogers
He joined for £1 million in 1995, even though manager Harry Redknapp had never seen him play. On the evidence, he arguably should have done a touch of research. Coming on for his second game, Boogers was sent-off for a horror tackle on Gary Neville, and after a four-game ban, only ever made two further appearances for the Hammers. Rumours abounded about him living in a caravan, but it appears these were an urban myth. He was voted number 19 in The Times’ poll to find the 50 worst Premier League players.
2. Kieron Dyer
Quite frankly, anyone signing Dyer deserves all they get. So when West Ham paid £6million for the injury-prone midfielder, we all knew what would happen. Dyer managed to make 30 appearances in four seasons, which is staggeringly generous of him given that he earned £450,000 for every match he played with at the club.
1. Savio Nsereko
Quite a sad story. In January 2009, the Ugandan-born German striker was bought for a fee of £9million from Brescia. Given the number 10 shirt at Upton Park and aged just 19, Savio was heaped with the pressure and expectation of assisting a side that were eighth in the Premier League but had scored just 29 goals in 22 games. The transfer was a disaster. Nsereko started just one game for the Hammers, failing to score a single goal for the club. He was sold for an undisclosed fee to Fiorentina, from where he has been loaned out to four different clubs without scoring a league goal. He now resides at Juve Stabia in Italy’s Serie B. Only recently did it surface that Savio has significant mental health issues and depression.