The squad strengthening has already begun in earnest, with West Ham signing Romanian international Razvan Rat on a free after his contract expires in June.
With contract worries of his own coming to an end, Sam Allardyce has proven once again to be a rather astute talent when it comes to the transfer market. After the transfer window last summer and this past January both proving to be a big success, it should be no surprise the trend is continuing before the 2012/2013 season has even been completed.
If the name sounds familiar, and not simply because it’s one of the best in football, it’s probably because the club came close to signing Rat in the January transfer window. At the time Shakhtar Donetsk was more enticed by the transfer fee offered by Marseille, while Rat was interested in the wages and personal terms offered by the Hammers.
Unfortunately for both clubs no deal was finalized. West Ham never stopped tracking him though and perhaps knew if they waited out the transfer window they could sign the player on a free come June.
Rat, Romanian national team captain, plays at left back. This of course brings into question the future of Joey O’Brien. It’s unlikely O’Brien will be shown the door, as he’s one of Big Sam’s trustworthy workhorses. While O’Brien certainly never gives less than his all, he doesn’t quite have the skills of Razvan.
Promising signs already for what is to come this summer. Maybe Razvan Rat is next years Momo Diame, a absolute coup on a free that fits in without any hassle. One can dream.