When West Ham United parted ways with Darren Randolph back in the summer of 2017, with the goalkeeper joining Middlesbrough in what was a £5m deal, very few Hammers fans would have expected their club to resign the 34-year-old shot-stopper just two and a half years later.
However, this is exactly what West Ham did, paying the Championship side £4.23m for the goalkeeper in January of 2020, handing the former Republic of Ireland international a three and a half year deal on £42k-per-week.
And, while the £900k-rated ‘keeper was undoubtedly a very decent backup option to Lukasz Fabianski at the time, especially with West Ham’s then number two, Roberto, enduring a disastrous season, the club have since brought the £138k-per-week Alphonse Areola to the club to deputise for the 36-year-old first-choice – seeing Randolph become David Moyes’ third inline between the sticks.
Indeed, since his return to the club two years ago, the Irishman has made just nine first-team appearances for West Ham, with only five of these outings coming in the Premier League.
And, when taking into account the fact that Randolph has so far cost the Hammers roughly £4.6m in wages over the 110 weeks since his return to the London Stadium, in addition to his £4.2m transfer fee, this means each appearance the goalkeeper has made for the Irons has cost the club just shy of a whopping £1m.
As such, while the player who the former Middlesbrough manager, Jonathan Woodgate, dubbed an “outstanding” talent between the sticks may well be exactly this, considering just how little the 34-year-old has featured for the club, it would very much appear as if the decision to resign the veteran was an extremely strange one.
Indeed, the third-choice position is typically one held by one of the club’s up and coming prospects, affording a promising youngster a chance at gaining some valuable first-team minutes.
However, with Randolph not only remaining at the club, but Moyes reportedly unwilling to extend the goalkeeper’s current contract, it would appear this pathway is closed to the young goalkeepers in the West Ham academy, yet another reason why the Irishman’s position within Moyes’ side makes very little sense.