After spending almost a decade at Manchester City and becoming a club legend, Pablo Zabaleta signed for West Ham on the 26th of May 2017.
The Argentina international had established himself as one of the best right-backs in the league during his time at Man City. Zabaleta won two titles, an FA Cup and a League Cup during his time in Manchester. With the arrival of Pep Guardiola at City and with the experienced defender’s contract expiring, West Ham capitalised on the situation to capture him on a free.
With Sam Byram still learning his trade and only having Alvaro Arbeloa as the most reliable backup, signing Zabaleta seemed like a good move and many of the fans praised his arrival. Here’s what he said…
— Nick Freeman (@coxswain64) May 29, 2017
Seasoned premiership and international player,great signing.
— Kenny Dawson (@pepeDaina) May 26, 2017
Well done Mr Chairman
— Peter Tsouroulla (@tsouroulla) May 26, 2017
— AJAASUMA WEST HAM UTD (@lilmodulo) May 26, 2017
Good work mr gold
— hammer 1971 (@BuroWpa) May 26, 2017
Prior to his arrival, West Ham struggled massively at right-back and had to address the position, especially after such a poor first season at Wembley. Instantly, the Argentine became a regular in the side and played 37 games in the League despite being in the twilight of his career.
This year, he’s played three games for the Hammers in the league as he’s been rotated with Ryan Fredericks by Manuel Pellegrini. He may not have the energy or pace like he once had, but his experience and ability to be a great defender are still just as good and could be vital in helping Fredericks bed into the side.
Furthermore, with so many new players coming into the squad, having someone so experienced and used to winning is going to be vital for West Ham, especially with a new manager at the club.
Despite being 33 and with only one year left on his contract, the Argentine still has so much to offer the Hammers. His dependable performances for West Ham have been a welcome surprise for the fans and there’s no doubt that the fans were right to praise his arrival.
Just like he did at City, Zabaleta has turned himself into a popular and reliable player once again.
West Ham fans – thoughts?