A lot of West Ham United’s success on the pitch this season has to be attributed to their moves in the transfer market.
The Irons narrowly avoided relegation with one game to go last season after David Moyes was employed to pull off a great escape.
Things are vastly different now – the East London outfit occupies fifth place in the Premier League, just three points behind Chelsea in the race for a place in the Champions League.
This drastic turnaround has been down to Moyes, of course, but GSB deserve plenty of credit too as they provided him with several new signings and did so again in January, clinching the sensational Jesse Lingard on loan.
There was uproar when the club sold Grady Diangana and the lack of a replacement for Sebastian Haller hasn’t been ideal, though still, it’s their backing that has contributed to the fruitful returns of this campaign.
One name signed in the summer has arguably been one of their player’s of the season – Vladimir Coufal.
West Ham defeated Burnley on Monday Night Football earlier this week, and the Czech Republic right-back left Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher in awe (4th May, 22:24pm).
“I think he’s been one of the signings of the season,” claimed the former Liverpool centre-back. “We talk about [Tomas] Soucek, but Coufal whether it’s right wing-back or right full-back at different times, he’s just one of those players that’s 7/10 minimum every time you watch him play. He’s the type of player you’d love to play with him. A manager’s dream, never injured, he’s there week in week out.”
Indeed, the 13-cap international has been a revelation along that right-flank – immensely contributing in a defensive nature, as well as getting up the pitch to be a tricky threat with his crosses into the box.
As per WhoScored, Coufal ranks amongst the Hammers’ five best performers with an average rating of 6.97. Only the likes of Declan Rice, Tomas Soucek, Michail Antonio and Lingard are above him currently.
The 28-year-old brute tops the charts for tackles per game (2.4) and isn’t too far behind his teammates for interceptions per game (1.3) either, which only emphasises just how solid he’s been at the back.
Further ahead, Coufal has delivered a whopping six assists from right-back, a feat only bettered by Aaron Cresswell (seven). The same goes for key passes per game, too, with the former Slavia Prague man just 0.1 behind the Englishman in terms of creativity, via WhoScored.
It is no wonder Moyes dubbed his summer signing “unbelievable” back in February.
Now valued at €20m (£18m) by CIES Football Observatory, you would have to argue that the Czech gem has been one of West Ham’s, if not the Premier League’s, top stars this term.
The Hammers have certainly hit the jackpot and are in dreamland here. You won’t find better value for money than what they have achieved with Coufal.
AND in other news, West Ham dealt another huge injury blow…