After the appointment of Manuel Pellegrini and significant expenditure on new players over the summer, hopes were high that West Ham United were set for a successful 2018-19 Premier League season.
It is clear that some of the new faces will take time to bed into life at the London club, while others look to have the star quality to succeed in English football.
Despite this, things have not started quite as planned for West Ham, who were one of the fancied teams to be relegated from the Premier League at SportingIndex.com after Pellegrini’s men lost their first four games of the new campaign.
However, a revival over the last month has restored belief among the supporters that this Hammers side is good enough to comfortably finish in the top half.
The summer signings will surely play a major role in West Ham’s fortunes, but how have they fared so far, eight games in?
Here we rate the new men.
Lukasz Fabianski – 7/10
The goalkeeper position has been a problem area for West Ham in recent years, with neither Adrian or Darren Randolph showing the required consistency to fully install confidence in the fans.
The summer capture of Fabianski from Swansea has looked like an inspired move, with the Polish veteran one of the club’s top performers so far in 2018-19.
While the West Ham manager would surely hope his goalkeeper has less to do through improved defending, the Pole looks like an upgrade on previous options and has made some excellent saves this season.
Ryan Fredericks – 4/10
A free transfer signing from Fulham, Fredericks’ acquisition was in order to bolster squad depth and provide younger legs in the full-back positions.
However, the 26-year-old has struggled while making the step up to the Premier League and was ruthlessly exposed in a tough afternoon at Anfield.
While Fredericks has the ability to be a top-flight player, he will need to work hard and improve to nail down a regular place in the West Ham team.
Jack Wilshere – 5/10
Arguably the most-promising addition of the summer, there is little doubting Wilshere’s quality when he is fit and firing.
The problem in his Arsenal days was that his form was far too fleeting, while injuries blighted any momentum.
The same has happened at West Ham, with Wilshere currently unavailable, Pellegrini needs to find a midfield system that allows the England international the licence to get on the ball and create, while reducing his defensive responsibilities.
Andriy Yarmolenko – 6/10
The Ukrainian attacking midfielder has largely been used as an impact sub and the former Borussia Dortmund man has shown some tidy touches and creative play.
His influence in the 3-1 win over Everton at Goodison Park was clear to see and Yarmolenko could be a devastating proponent if he can deliver similar shows on a more-regular basis.
It remains to be seen what role the Ukrainian will play once Manuel Lanzini returns from injury, but he has the potential to be a crowd favourite.
Felipe Anderson – 8/10
Landing West Ham’s new club-record signing was a coup in the summer and Anderson has shown why the club were so keen to land him.
The Brazilian’s movement off the ball, technique and eye for goal have been evident so far this season, and while he is still finding his feet, the former Lazio man has the potential to be a Premier League superstar.
Anderson’s link-up play with Marko Arnautovic has been excellent and the supporters will be keen to see more of the same.
Fabian Balbuena – 6/10
The Paraguayan has arrived in English football as a relative unknown but adapted to the physical side of the Premier League well.
There are still question marks over Balbuena’s positioning and decision making, while Winston Reid’s return will possibly remove him from the team.
He has improved in recent weeks but will need more time to fully show what he can offer.
Carlos Sanchez – 5/10
An odd addition, the Colombian veteran has put in some mediocre performances before picking up a serious injury.
It is clear that West Ham need energy and physicality in the centre of midfield and it remains to be seen whether Sanchez possesses the required attributes to deliver this.
With the summer sale of Cheikhou Kouyate and the loan exit of Edimilison Fernandes, some of the Hammers hierarchy’s decision making in the heart of midfield has been questionable.
Lucas Perez – 5/10
West Ham wanted to sign the Spanish striker before he moved to Arsenal and landing him at a fraction of the price 24 months later was generally accepted as good business.
However, Perez is behind Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez in Pellegrini’s centre forward preferences, meaning he will need to latch onto any opportunities he is given.
The 30-year-old scored 17 La Liga goals for Deportivo La Coruna in 2015-16 – whether he can recreate this form remains to be seen, but the sprightly forward looks nothing more than a squad player at this point.