West Ham’s first two summer signings show worrying lack of ambition

In the last week West Ham United have made their first two signings of the summer 2019 transfer window, a pair of veteran goalkeepers in the form of Spaniard Roberto and Englishman David Martin.

While it’s still very early days in terms of recruitment for 2019/20, they show a clear lack of ambition from the club and provide worrying evidence that they aren’t moving forward under Manuel Pellegrini.

The arrival of two 33-year-old goalkeepers to join the current holder of the number one jersey who happens to be 34 is hardly inspiring.

Veteran Lukasz Fabianski may have enjoyed a fantastic season, but he isn’t going to be able to keep up this level of performance forever and who’s going to step into his shoes when he’s no longer good enough? Roberto and Martin will be just as old and rusty.

What West Ham really needed was a top-quality shot-stopper in the prime years of his career, one that can challenge Fabianski now and push him to perform even better.

With Adrian departing, the Hammers had a real chance to do this – instead they’ve decided to recruit two players in the same position even older than the ex-Spain man. Just like the West Ham of old we all know and love.

In this case it probably would have been more ambitious for the club to sign no one rather than two players who aren’t going to challenge to be the number one.

Academy product Nathan Trott could have been promoted full-time into a role within the senior set-up. But one of the club’s most promising talents is now the fourth choice and will probably immediately embark on an endless cycle of loans culminating in his release in a couple of years.

How must it feel for the 20-year-old to see two veterans signed and immediately put above him in the pecking order?

This summer should be about building upon the promise shown in Pellegrini’s first season at the club, bringing in signings to match the quality of Felipe Anderson, Issa Diop and Fabian Balbuena who have all made a mark in east London.

But West Ham could hardly have chosen a less ambitious way to start the window and supporters can only hope the rest of it doesn’t follow suit. It’s a worrying indication that, despite getting a top-class manager through the door last summer, West Ham aren’t really moving forward at all.