West Ham supporters have been making a lot of noise in recent times after seeing their side record a fourth straight Premier League victory at the weekend.
Manuel Pellegrini’s men went into their encounter with bottom club Fulham on Saturday having got past Newcastle United, Cardiff City, and Crystal Palace in their preceding three games, and thus seeking to record a fourth successive victory for the first time since February 2014, when they were under the stewardship of Sam Allardyce. And the Hammers managed to do just that at Craven Cottage on Saturday as goals from Robert Snodgrass and Michail Antonio sealed a routine 2-0 success for the East London outfit, in turn moving them up to ninth place in the division.
As such, there have been many delighted West Ham fans up and down the country in recent times, with centre back Fabian Balbuena one man who has earned much praise from supporters this season following his move from Corinthians in the summer.
And with the defender setting the Hammers back a lowly £3.6 million (as per Transfermarkt), it’s fair to say that the Paraguay international is making an absolute mockery of that measly price-tag.
Ultimately, the 27-year-old was lured to the London Stadium by new boss Pellegrini in a bid to bolster the defensive ranks at West Ham, what with the Hammers shipping an extraordinary 68 goals in their 38 Premier League games last season, the joint-most alongside relegated Stoke City in the top-flight.
And with James Collins leaving the club at the expiration of his contract, it was vital that Pellegrini improved his centre back ranks, with Balbuena and Issa Diop two men he brought in to bolster that area of the pitch.
And while the highly-rated Diop has also done extremely well, he cost a significant amount more than Balbuena, with the latter proving to be one of the bargains of the summer such have been his high-level displays in the heart of the Hammers backline.
The 27-year-old has started all but one of West Ham’s 17 Premier League games this term to underline his consistently strong performances at the back, with the defender also chipping in with one goal, which came in their 1-1 draw away at Leicester City.
And while the Hammers seriously struggled at the start of the campaign in shipping goals and losing games, things have certainly picked up recently, with Balbuena’s own adaptation to English football clear to see such has been his commanding and authoritative displays in recent weeks – he and Diop have formed quite the partnership.
And for just £3.6 million, in what was one of the most understated deals of a busy summer at the London Stadium, it’s proving to be a Pellegrini masterstroke, with Balbuena himself undoubtedly making an absolute mockery of that very lowly price-tag.
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