On the 26th May 2017, West Ham announced the signing of Pablo Zabaleta from Manchester City on a free transfer.
Zabaleta on an individual level was also successful during his peak years with City. The Argentine was picked in the 2012/13 PFA Team of the Season, the only player from the blue half of Manchester to be featured in the team, and the right-back won multiple Player of the Month awards for City in his nine years at the club.
His departure was a sad one for City fans but a necessary one for the club. In his final season up north the Argentine made 20 league appearances under Guardiola, his second-lowest tally during his time in Manchester, and heading into the 2017/18 season Guardiola was keen on having new fullbacks who could play at a level the Spaniard wanted.
Zabaleta’s choice to move to West Ham was a surprise to neutrals and to some Hammer fans, here is how some of them reacted on Twitter to the news…
Quality bit of business, love Pablo’s passion and commitment. Fantastic signing to start the summer spending
— Darren 父 Cox (@hammersmad) 26 May 2017
Welcome Pablo cannot. Wait. To see you in the famous shirt of West ham
— danny wiggett (@WiggyHam) May 26, 2017
So happy really looking forward to next season.
— Yuri Inada (@yuriinada) 26 May 2017
Welcome Pablo,a new hammers legend in the making,love his determination and will to win ,just what we need
— Paul ayres (@Paulayres16) 26 May 2017
— (@PW57WHU) May 26, 2017
— SJD (@samueljamesd) May 26, 2017
— Laura Nagle (@LauraNagle85) May 27, 2017
Love you pablo welcome to West Ham
— Luke Metcalf (@Lukemet02) May 26, 2017
In his two years at West Ham, Zabaleta has proven to be a solid acquisition for the club. In his first season in the English capital, the Argentine defender appeared in all but one game for the Hammers where the east London side finished 13th in the table.
Reunited with former title-winning manager Manuel Pellegrini in the 2018/19 season, Zabaleta has retained his status as a starting Premier League left-back at the club, starting 23 times this campaign as the Hammers look to finish above 10th place in the table.
At the age of 34, the Man City legend shows no sign of slowing down. However, with his contract ending this summer and no news of an extension being offered, it looks like Zabaleta’s time as a Premier League defender are over unless he is picked up in the summer as a free agent.
West Ham fans, should the club extend Zabaleta’s contract? Let us know!