Trevor Steven: Ambitious and shrewd, West Ham have done some of the best business of the transfer window

 
Trevor Steven
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Arnautovic has joined from Stoke in a club record £24m deal (Source: Getty)

If Everton have had the best transfer window of Premier League teams, then who is next?

Some might argue Manchester City, yet their need to challenge for the title again has seen them spend more than £200m, and some of it on players who may need time to adapt to England.

I think you can make a case for West Ham. Their signings – Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta, Javier Hernandez and Marko Arnautovic – have been ambitious and shrewd.

Read more: West Ham complete £16m signing of striker Hernandez

Previously they have been guilty of buying second-rate players from France, but their new quartet are all tried and tested Premier League performers.

Hart, who has joined on loan from City, has a lot to prove after being ditched by Pep Guardiola and sent to Torino, where he had a mixed spell last season, but West Ham is an ideal place for him to do that.

I think he’ll have learned a lot from his brief time trying to meet Guardiola’s exacting requirements for a footballing goalkeeper, as well as his campaign in Italy.

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Hart, who has joined on loan, remains England's No1 (Source: Getty)

He has always been a great shot-stopper and he remains England’s No1 for a reason. I feel that he will come back stronger. I like his spirit so I hope that he does.

Hernandez, a £16m arrival from Bayer Leverkusen, should fit in quickly.

He speaks the language and knows the league from his time at Manchester United, where he just got squeezed out.

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Hernandez knows England from a previous spell at Manchester United (Source: Getty)

The Mexico striker is a match-winner and, at that price, Hernandez looks a steal.

A lot is resting on Arnautovic, a club record £24m buy from Stoke, for both West Ham and the Austria forward.

Arnautovic is flamboyant and the Hammers need someone like that, following the departure of Dimitri Payet, albeit that he is more likely to chase back than the Frenchman ever was.

At 28, though, it is time for him to step up. He is the right age to do so and the London Stadium is a more suitable venue than the breezy Britannia for someone who never looked like a Stoke player.

I expect him to improve now that has some better players around him.

I’m a big admirer of West Ham manager Slaven Bilic. I like that he is passionate but doesn’t appear to get angry with his players when things go wrong; he rides the wave with them.

He seems like someone you would want to play for and I’d like to think that this summer’s business is because the club’s chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold recognise they have a gem in Bilic.

I’m not sure any manager could have done better than the Croatian did with West Ham in 2015-16, when they finished seventh and just four points off a Champions League place.

Equally, not many bosses would have seen them through what was always going to be a difficult campaign in their new home last term without finishing lower than 11th.

The goal has to be to get back into Europe and, though I feel Bilic could still use a couple more experienced faces before the transfer window shuts, their business so far means West Ham look ready to go back up a level next season.

Read more: West Ham set to add £24m record signing to Hart loan

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