West Ham have had one of their best transfer windows in recent memory, much to the delight of their fans who have had little to shout about over the last few seasons.
Multiple big-name arrivals at the London Stadium have given those long-suffering Irons cause for optimism, as has the appointment of Manuel Pellegrini as manager. Put those two things together and you have the recipe for an exciting season ahead.
And on transfer deadline day, the Hammers bagged another new signing as Lucas Perez arrived from Arsenal for a cut-price fee reported to be £4m.
That’s a pittance in today’s market which has boomed to frankly crazy levels in the last few years, and from that point of view, if Perez was on offer West Ham couldn’t really have said no.
But this should be more than a signing of convenience – it’s not just some bargain basement purchase picked up on sale because the price was too good to turn down. Perez could turn out to be a really astute signing for the Irons.
He’s unlikely to take a starring role, of course, and after his last Premier League experience (two years ago, because last season was spent back on loan at Deportivo La Coruna) he probably won’t be delighted by sitting on the bench every week.
But with the likes of Andriy Yarmolenko, Marko Arnautovic and Felipe Anderson ahead of him in the pecking order when it comes to the attacking positions, Perez will probably be a squad player unless he can prove his worth and gain his place on merit.
Before signing for Arsenal in 2016, the Spaniard bagged 17 goals and eight assists in La Liga for Depor. That earned him the move to the Premier League where things didn’t particularly work out for him at a top six club.
Stepping down a level below that group at the very top of the league might be where Perez shows what he can do, though. His goals tally for the Spanish club in 2015/16 was impressive, but it should be the assists column that catches the eye. Perez is more than a goal poacher, he’s a man who can provide for others as well as take on goalscoring responsibilities.
That should be music to the ears of West Ham fans, who can expect a hard-worker who is clearly a team player.
Under Manuel Pellegrini we have no idea what the side will look like just yet, nor do we know what sort of formation they will play. But we can be sure that they will attack. And the more options West Ham have, the more interesting that approach will be. With Perez, they have another interesting option for the manager to think about using.