Where did it all go wrong for Savio?

HE WAS hailed as the replacement for Craig Bellamy and could have become West Ham s club record signing if he had achieved everything that was hoped of him. But for Savio Nsereko, his dream move to London turned into a nightmare, and one that only ended w

HE WAS hailed as the replacement for Craig Bellamy and could have become West Ham's club record signing if he had achieved everything that was hoped of him.

But for Savio Nsereko, his dream move to London turned into a nightmare, and one that only ended when Fiorentina agreed to take him back to Italy on Monday.

Stories that Savio was West Ham's club record signing were wide of the mark. He arrived at Upton Park for a fee of around �5.5million - still a sizeable one - but the deal had appearance clauses and European clauses that could have taken it to �9million. In the end, the Hammers did not have to pay any of that bonus money.

West Ham chief executive Scott Duxbury said: "Although not for the want of trying, Savio has struggled to make an impact for various reasons.


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"Had our financial situation been different we would have preferred to have kept and developed Savio. However, we are required to make savings and our policy has always been to sell players on the fringes, rather than established first-team players.

"With the fee we received for Savio and a 50 per cent sell-on, together with acquiring the highly-rated Manuel Da Costa, it represented a great deal."

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Savio's career at West Ham was a strange one from the start. The Ugandan-born German under-20 international was very much a Gianluca Nani signing, and manager Gianfranco Zola admitted that he had not seen him in the flesh before his arrival from Serie B side Brescia last January.

He made just 11 appearances for the club, 10 of those as a substitute, while his only start came in the 0-0 home draw against West Brom.

In all, he played 254 minutes in claret and blue, meaning that he cost the Hammers a staggering figure of just under �22,000 a minute for his services!

It seems Zola might have been expecting a striker, what he got was a young, inexperienced and fragile left winger who failed to cope with the physical rigours of football in the tough Premier League.

In the end, the reported �3.2million plus Manuel Da Costa West Ham received looks like good business.

The new Bellamy? Not a chance, and what a waste of money considering a player like Junior Stanislas was already waiting in the wings.

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