Abdul Razak to West Ham: Hammers Acquire Ivory Coast Midfielder

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJanuary 30, 2014

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 14:  Abdul Razak #20 of Ivory Coast stands for the anthem before their match against Mexico at MetLife Stadium on August 14, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

West Ham have confirmed the signing of former Manchester City midfielder Abdul Razak, who has signed for Sam Allardyce's side on a short-term basis. 

The Hammers' official club website confirms the 21-year-old's arrival at Upton Park, where he'll look to help the club out of their relegation scrap.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 12:  Abdul Razak of Anzhi Makhachkala tackles Andros Townsend of Tottenham Hotspur during the UEFA Europa League Group K match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and FC Anji Makhachkala at White Hart Lane on December 12, 2013 in Londo
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Razak left the Etihad Stadium over the summer, joining Anzhi Makhachkala initially on loan but agreeing to a permanent switch after a clause in his contract was activated, per West Ham's report.

As a senior Ivory Coast international, the central midfielder was once heralded as one of the more promising assets among City's youth ranks, but that hype failed to materialise in Manchester, at least.

Since joining the troubled Anzhi in September, Razak has been given a more prominent role in the side, making seven Russian Premier League appearances, per Transfermarkt.

That time also includes playing experience in the Europa League, another aspect that will have undoubtedly strengthened West Ham's desire to sign the starlet.

Razak is a malleable player in that he can play anywhere along the central channel, whether it be as a deep-lying anchor or in a more advanced hub in behind the forward line.

HONG KONG - JULY 25:  Abdul Razak of Mancester City participates in a clinic with local children during the Barclays Asia Trophy Premier League Community Festival at  on July 25, 2013 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong.  (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images for F
Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

In East London, the Bouake-born playmaker will find the likes of Kevin Nolan, Mark Noble, Mohamed Diame and Ravel Morrison to be good company, but nonetheless, he joins a tough fight for Premier League survival.

Dan Silver of The Mirror has suggested that the signing could have been made with Diame's injury in mind, suffered in the 0-0 stalemate at Chelsea this week (note that the tweet to which he responded has some potentially NSFW language):


As things stand, West Ham sit 18th in the English top flight and are two points shy of safety.

However, as Opta Joe shows, there are positives for Allardyce's men, who have kept a league joint-high of 10 clean sheets this term which is on par with Arsenal:

Razak will seek to ensure that his new side retain their Premier League status come the end of the season, but it's as of yet unknown just how prominently the Ivorian can hope to feature.