Now that Slaven Bilic’s side have sealed the deal to bring former Championship right-back, Sam Byram, to Upton Park this season – with Fenerbahce’s Emmanuel Emenike also expected to be joining up with the Hammers before the close of the January transfer window – it seems West Ham are looking set to approach the rest of the 2015/16 campaign with a few subtle tweaks to a pretty good set-up
Yet, there haas been one axing, as Mauro Zarate has nonetheless decided to end his time at the Boleyn Ground with a recent switch to Fiorentina in the Italian Serie A. However, maybe West Ham United’s latest activity in the transfer market has become something of a necessity with all things considered.
The Argentine front-man seemingly frustrated and delighted the Upton Park faithful in equal measure during his brief spell within the East End of London, and whilst several West Ham fans have failed to offer much of a second glance towards Zarate’s recent departure, many long-term Hammers supporters remain disappointed by the decision to let him go.
So then, will West Ham really regret parting ways with Zarate this January, or was this a move that simply had to happen?
Well, although the now 28-year-old striker didn’t exactly prove an out-and-out goalscoring sensation for the Irons during his time in the English top-flight, Zarate nonetheless proved a partially exciting asset for the Upton Park crowd to enjoy – as well as someone who looked like he could really push on under the calm, yet imposing management style of Slaven Bilic.
Via his skilful approach in the final third, daring nature when taking on defenders just outside the penalty box and somewhat underrated ability to link up promisingly with his team-mates all across the pitch, this South American striker certainly seemed to know what it took to succeed.
Zarate may not have been the most consistent asset on offer during his spell within the Premier League, but as he most definitely provided the Boleyn Ground faithful with some of the most captivating goals witnessed at their club in recent seasons. Surely the former Lazio and Inter Milan front-man could have progressively impressed at West Ham with more game time under his belt?
The recently acquired Fiorentina man arguably possesses a much better all round game than Nikica Jelavic, who still maintains his spot within Bilic’s first team squad, as well as showing far superior ball control when compared with Enner Valencia and an effective ability to link up with Manuel Lanzini whenever the two countrymen could be found operating within the same starting XI.
However, although the Argentine hot-shot will certainly be missed by some sections of the Hammers support this season, there are also those who will likely be glad to see the back of Zarate for his often unpredictable nature in the claret & blue of West Ham…
Whilst the 28-year-old most definitely knew how to find the back of the net in real style for the Upton Park faithful, he was also someone who served to frustrate many as he went about his business.
When it came to holding onto the ball far too long in crucial areas of the pitch, failing to display much defensive work-rate up and down the flanks for West Ham and simply putting in several largely forgettable performances that left a rather indifferent feeling among the Hammers crowd, Zarate also possessed many significant short-comings within his overall game, and arguably represented somewhat of a ‘luxury’ that West Ham couldn’t always afford to include out on the pitch.
In the end, it ultimately seemed as if the English game wasn’t quite suited to this technically gifted attacker with everything fairly taken into account. As he could never quite give a full account of himself when operating out wide on the flanks – as well as through the middle as an isolated centre-forward – perhaps Zarate’s recent departure from West Ham was only inevitable within the grand scheme of things.
The former Hammers man will likely rediscover some of his best form back in the slower pace of the Italian game, in a league where he can begin to play in his preferred free role behind the recognised strikers and just in front of the midfielders.
Zarate will therefore be missed down at West Ham this season, but if Slaven Bilic can nonetheless remedy that situation before now and the close of the January transfer window, the quick-footed Argentine seemingly won’t be missed for long…