Why West Ham must offload flop star Roberto in January without hesitation
According to a report by The Guardian, West Ham United are aiming to sell out-of-form goalkeeper Roberto in January.
The Spaniard recently lost his place in the squad to third-choice keeper David Martins after a string of poor performances, which saw the Hammers slip to 15th place in the table.
Roberto, who came in as a replacement for injured first-choice keeper Lukasz Fabianski, conceded 15 goals from just 7 matches, leaving manager Manuel Pellegrini’s future in doubt.
Having joined the side in the summer from Espanyol as a replacement for Adrian, on a free transfer, Roberto was supposed to play back up for main man Fabianski.
Meanwhile, Fabianski, who started the season in goal for the Hammers, played 7 matches and kept 3 clean sheets, conceding just 8 goals. However, a hip injury he suffered in September ruled him out until the end of the year, forcing Pellegrini to move onto his next option.
What followed was a series of blunders that saw the team lose confidence and fall down the league table. At a point in the season, West Ham slid to the bottom-three, having managed just one point from the six games he started for them.
Roberto’s replacement, Martin, meanwhile, impressed in his debut game for his boyhood club, keeping a clean sheet against a stronger Chelsea opposition, whom they beat by a narrow one-goal margin.
The side suddenly seemed to be assured of confidence, something which they clearly lacked during Roberto’s reign and it was evident in their win against the Blues.
Martin was assured of a spot as Pellegrini chose the Englishman ahead of Roberto in the match against Wolverhampton Wanderers. However, Hammers lost 2-0 to Wolves away, but it seems most unlikely that Roberto would ever feature again, the report claims.
Meanwhile, West Ham and Pellegrini are on the lookout for a replacement for the out-of-favour shot-stopper, ahead of the January transfer window. They are also aware of the fact that it would be difficult for them to fetch a fee for the £30,000-a-week Roberto, who still has 18 months left on his contract.
The Hammers are thinking of loaning him to avoid paying his wages, with Turkey looking the most likely of destinations, according to the report.
West Ham’s director of football Mario Husillos and Pellegrini had earlier made plans to capture the services of the former Espanyol man and make him their No.1 keeper last year.
However, they opted to go with Fabianski, who was bought from Swansea. It seems it was not such a bad decision after all, as the Hammers finished 10th last season.
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By every means, West Ham’s decision to offload the out-of-form Roberto is a wise decision given his poor displays in recent times. The Spaniard’s mistakes have cost them their spot in the league. Hence, the Hammers should sell Roberto sooner rather than later.