It’s been another banner weekend in this first summer as West Ham United manager for Manuel Pellegrini, with two signings of accomplished South American talents, including the latter being one of Brazil’s most exciting players currently.
Highly touted midfielder Felipe Anderson is now a Hammer after completing his move from Lazio on Sunday, as his marquee signing proceeded the capture of accomplished Paraguayan international Fabian Balbuena. These two signings came after Andriy Yarmolenko’s surprising signing with the Hammers, making it an even more landmark of summer deals than the massive moves during this time in 2017.
Anderson will be well known to even casual football fans of leagues outside of Britain, as the skillful attacking midfielder showcased last season in Serie A why he was a target for Manchester United after a banner 2014-15 season. Despite issues with Lazio manager Simone Inzaghi, Anderson still was key in the I Biancocelesti push for the Champions League in May. Although the Hammers paid the heftiest of fees for him, breaking the club record just set a few weeks ago with Issa Diop’s signing surpassing Marko Arnautovic’s figure from last summer, the 25-year-old offensive threat is yet another young major talent that the club needed especially in wake of Manuel Lanzini’s ACL injury.
Anderson’s unexpected major signing came after another Pellegrini influenced signing, as he had plenty of time seeing Balbuena. As one of the Brasileirao’s top performers the last two seasons in his team at Corinthians, the 26-year-old centerback stapled his name as one of CONMEBOL club football’s premiere performers. Besides being a towering defensive presence, Balbuena uses his 6’2 frame to be a threat on set pieces and could be another goal option for a Hammers team now loaded with players capable of scoring.