How Joe Hart ended up signing for West Ham
After being axed by Man City and facing a crossroads in his career, Joe Hart finally joined West Ham on a season-long loan deal today.
There comes a time in most players careers when they find themselves at a crossroads, especially those who have played at the highest level. This usually happens when powers may suddenly be waning or have been put into doubt and it’s time for some difficult choices to be made.
For Joe Hart this was very much the situation that he found himself in this summer. Yes, he’s had a glittering career which has taken him all the way from Shrewsbury Town to being the only Premier League goalkeeper to win four of the highly-coveted Golden Glove awards. He has also earned no less than 71 England caps since his 2008 debut. But, unfortunately, he found himself facing an uncertain future this summer.
From the day Pep Guardiola took charge at Manchester City Hart soon got the message that he would not be the manager’s first choice as keeper as his distribution skills from the box were considered to be well below par. As a result he found himself on loan to Torino for the bulk of last season.
While he did well enough with the Serie A team helping them to achieve mid-table respectability, his £110,000 a week wages simply weren’t sustainable so he was put up for sale by Manchester City.
His asking price depended on who was asking. For “elite” clubs like Chelsea, Barcelona and Manchester United it was £25 milliion while for less starry names it was closer to £20 million. Considering that Everton have just paid £25 million for the relatively inexperienced Jordan Pickford it makes Hart’s price quite a bargain.
One factor that made him a little less attractive to top clubs was Hart’s tendency to make some pretty big mistakes especially on the highest profile occasions – a case in point being the howler that helped Iceland knock England out of the 2016 Euros.
But despite his lapses, Hart is undoubtedly still a class act and he still attracted interest from plenty of European clubs as well as mid-level teams here in England. However, after weeks of speculation, Hart has been given the chance to resurrect his career here in the Premier League after securing a loan move to West Ham today. The Hammers struggled for consistency in goal last season with Adrian and Randolph both failing to hold down the first team shirt and the Londoners were left frustrated after missing out on Pickford, so it’s no surprise Salven Bilic made his move for Hart.
The 30-year-old will now be guaranteed first team football at the London Stadium next season which will give him the perfect opportunity to impress Gareth Southgate and win his England place back ahead of the 2018 World Cup. It’s also a win-win for City too as Hart can’t play against them due to the terms of his loan agreement but he’ll strengthen West Ham for games against their title rivals such as Chelsea – and who wouldn’t want to place a bet on the outcome of that encounter.
This looks like the perfect move for Hart as he will now be able to showcase his talents back in England and who knows, he may be able to convince Guardiola to give him another chance at City next season if Ederson’s move to the Etihad Stadium doesn’t work out. For now, West Ham have got their hands on a keeper who still has plenty to give along with the drive and enthusiasm any manager would relish.
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