Enner Valencia signed for West Ham during the latest transfer window – but there’s good reason to believe the World Cup star won’t cut it in the Premier League, and specifically at West Ham.

Valencia signed from Mexican club Pachuca for a reported fee of £12million. There’s a case to be made that joining for a large fee (relative to West Ham of course) will put too much pressure on the head of Valencia. Generally when West Ham spend large fees, the player won’t return the favour with big performances.

Savio Nsereko was signed for £9million aged just 19 and he went down in West Ham history as the biggest waste of money in their history – he made just 10 appearances (only 1 start) and moved onto Fiorentina without a goal. Even looking at West Ham’s current record-signing you can see another example of not fulfilling the transfer fee, as since signing on a permanent deal Andy Carroll has spent the majority of the time in hospital.

Of course there is no guaranteeing that a large fee will damage a player’s career, but West Ham are certainly building a convincing portfolio. To date, Valencia has made two substitute appearances in the Premier League and was awarded his first start for the Hammers in the Capital One Cup defeat to Sheffield United.

One thing in particular stood out in this short amount of time – how lost Valencia looks playing in West Ham’s system. You’d be forgiven by thinking that all West Ham players look out of place in the current system bar Andy Carroll, but Valencia more than most. He played 120 minutes versus Sheffield United and didn’t do anything of note, similar to his substitute appearances. Sam Allardyce noted his impressive aerial ability despite being a ‘petite’ player, but he is certainly not a target man. He jumps up very high and is then manoeuvred out of the way by defenders as they then clear it away, and when you play as a striker for West Ham, you need to adore winning headers.

Fellow new forward signings Mauro Zarate and Diafra Sakho have both already opened their West Ham accounts. Zarate ran the show versus Crystal Palace and Sakho started alongside Valencia versus Sheffield United, scoring the Hammers’ only goal of the game. The confidence that is generated from scoring so early in a new career move is undeniably huge and Valencia may have missed that opportunity. He is of course yet to start a Premier League game but I don’t fancy his chances of scoring in Allardyce’s current system.

Valencia was undoubtably very impressive at the World Cup and Big Sam tried to convince West Ham fans that they had been scouting him prior to the competition, but I find that extremely hard to believe.

A 24-year-old playing in the Mexican league is not a normal scouting mission for any Premier League club, let alone West Ham who rarely look further than Europe. I therefore believe that Valencia was signed after just three appearances for a World Cup inflation fee – not great business. I’m not entirely sure that Sam Allardyce was the man behind the move. I would suggest it was the club’s co-owner David Sullivan pulling the strings, as it’s safe to say Valencia doesn’t fit Allardyce’s general player mould.

Valencia won’t live up to his price tag and it is through no fault of his own. He won’t be as bad as Savio but he, worryingly, won’t be as effective as Andy Carroll.

And that’s saying something.

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  • John
    2 weeks ago

    You can’t judge him on 13 mins against Spurs ( which he did more than Carlton in 77) and 12 mins on Saturday. He is not being given a chance. Sheffield utd is/was irrelevant. We all know SAMs attitude. Get a manager that plays to players strengths and you may just see the best of him. SAMs idea of square pegs in round holes will never work. But then again it never has. We got lucky via the playoffs and SAMs luck will run out sooner or later. I go every week I will not boo the team. But Saturday after all that money spent was dreadful. If it was my money I’d have sacked him a long while ago. That part I just don’t understand. Three more defeats and Bilic and Dicks will be in charge. (Fingers crossed)

    Reply
  • Dadon
    2 weeks ago

    Utter nonsense. This man scored three goals in the world cup. He just needs a bit of time to adjust to the PL. It took Tevez 18 games to score his first goal, would you say he failed? Judge him at the end of the season.

    Reply
    • User Avatar
      Toby Fry
      2 weeks ago

      Well that’s a different story for another day Dadon. 7 goals in 27 games isn’t that incredible, I think you’ll agree – but it’s the time that he scored them. Right when we needed him.

      Not all players get used to it though, that’s my point. Even if they are proven quality i.e. Shevchenko.

      Reply
      • Firefighterx
        2 weeks ago

        sorry Mate nicely written article but have to agree with the others !! How can you write him off so easily ?
        lets give them and BFS chance to bed the new guys in…

        Reply
  • grnwhu
    2 weeks ago

    I practically fell off my chair laughing at this article. We are going to judge a player based on 25 mins of premier league football, a meaningless cup game and the fact that Savio didn’t work out!!
    As for we rarely sign players from outside Europe, well thats just totally incorrect. I think you’ll find that Gold and Sullivan signed Zarate from the Argentinian league this summer also (not at the world cup). They also signed Ilan and Wellington Paulista (neither international players) on trial/loan deals from Brazilian clubs in the past couple of seasons, all be it, sending them back once deciding they were not good enough, but 4 South American deals in 4 years shows they must have some information coming from South America.
    As for Valencia, the man went on holiday after the world cup, and joined West Ham half way through pre-season, so you’d have to say he is only really just getting 100% match fit. And finally, as for ‘can’t play in the system’, the ‘long ball’ tactics deployed last year have not really been used this season, so not quite sure why we are going to write him off based on size or aerial ability.

    Reply
  • Adam
    2 weeks ago

    What a load of nonsense. Agree that if he keeps on getting token amounts of game time he won’t be value for money but no way can he be judged on ‘performances to date’. When he has come on he has looked lively, hungry for the ball and surprisingly strong for his build. Might take a season to settle as the team adjust to an evolving style but articles like this are just extremely poor journalism.

    Reply
  • DJ
    2 weeks ago

    What absolute rubbish, ashton, bellamy, scott parker all commanded big fees from us at the time and they all lived up to they hype. OK ashtons plight was a bit of a tragedy but we nearly won the fa cup in his first season and he scored good goals. As for the mexican league, it has produced decent players in general, many going on to play in top european leagues and world class players have been found playing in far worser leagues. Not that valencia is anywhere near world class, but he definetly has the attributes and awareness to do well. It was a poor penalty he took against sheffield utd but I am certain he will want to bounce back from that.

    Reply
  • User Avatar
    Joe Dobson
    2 weeks ago

    “Toby”, you were named by parents who clearly understand rhyming slang and could forsee your future opinions.

    He’s played a matter of minutes. The level of utter nonsense uttered by people who think they know something about football, FFS.

    Reply