On Tuesday, West Ham completed the £9 million signing of Germany Under-20 forward Savio Nsereko from Italian Serie B side Brescia. Nsereko, a 19-year-old midfielder born in Uganda, has scored three goals in 23 appearances this season.
Although Nsereko had interest from a number of clubs, including those in his native Germany, West Ham won out in the race to sign him due to Nsereko's desire to work with Hammers' manager Gianfranco Zola, as well as technical director Gianluca Nani ‘s relationship with Brescia. Nani ‘s father in-law, Luigi Corioni, is the current president of the Serie B club.
Nsereko signed a four-and-a-half year deal with the Hammers, and could make his debut with the club as early as tomorrow night in the fixture vs. Hull City.
Gianluca Nani must know something that we don't with regards to this signing, as £9 million for a 19-year-old who has logged only 20 first-team starts in his young career. Clearly, the Hammers are planning for the future, but after receiving such a hefty sum for Craig Bellamy, they might have tried to spread it out a little.
With the £9 million signing, the Hammers' activity in the transfer window appears to be complete. Nsereko was the only signing of the month, with Hayden Mullins, Craig Bellamy, Kyel Reid, Lee Bowyer, Matthew Etherington, and Joe Widdowson all departing for other clubs. Of those, only Mullins, Bellamy, and Etherington are permanent departures as of now.
With the exception of Bellamy, who seemed determined to move, West Ham was able to honor Zola's request to sell off only fringe players and keep the core of the club intact.
By rejecting bids and inquiries for the likes of Matthew Upson, Lucas Neill, Scott Parker, and Carlton Cole, the Hammers are in prime position to make a run at both a top-six finish in the league, and have the tools necessary to challenge for the FA Cup.
The only disappointment of the transfer window was the inability to sell midfielder Luis Boa Morte. West Ham and Hull City had agreed to a fee for the Portuguese International, but the Tigers and Boa Morte could not agree to personal terms. Apparently money was more important than consistent first-team football to Boa.
West Ham's next opponent is Hull City in the Premiership on Wednesday night. On Monday, the Hammers drew Middlesbrough at home in Round Five of the FA Cup.