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Joe Hart must take his chance

Friday 21st July 2017
Joe Hart's time with Manchester City seemed to have been done this time last season as Pep Guardiola made it very clear that the English goalkeeper did not feature in his plans for the future. This led to him leaving for Italy and Torino, and a season long test that gave both the player and the club time to assess their options.

It is now a fact that Hart will not make his Premier League return with Manchester City, but instead with West Ham United. The Hammers are looking to strengthen their squad as it is vital they move past their disappointing 2016/17 campaign in which they could only finish 11th.

The loss of Dimitri Payet in such confrontational style saw the London side lose their best player and talisman, and they were unable to recover following his departure for France.

This summer, Slaven Bilic has been working hard to bolster his squad with the signing of Pablo Zabaleta, while the Hammers are also reportedly interested in former Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez and Stoke forward Marko Arnautovic, which would add some much needed firepower to the side.

Hart's arrival is also a welcomed one, with his experience of winning and playing at the very top of the game vital to the potential success of Bilic's side. It is not only West Ham that needs Hart though, the feeling is very much mutual from the goalkeeper.

Hart falling out of favour with Guardiola is something that has seen his stock fall further. Mistakes in the Premier League, poor performances in the European Championships and a glut of goals conceded for Torino last season mean that many have consigned Hart to a goalkeeper that is past his best. This is not the case though.

Outstanding performances in the Premier League, Champions League and for England are quickly forgotten when a mistake is made, but his class is permanent, even though his form may have dipped.
While it may not be Hart's last chance in the Premier League, it is his best one to re-establish himself as one of the league's top goalkeepers. He will have a lot of work to do at West Ham, with their defence not as solid as the Manchester City backline he played behind.

His strong, commanding goalkeeping will give the Hammers some solidity at the back, while he is more than capable of a match winning performance for his side.

Bilic will hope that some time away from the Premier League will have refreshed Hart and allowed him to gain a different perspective of the game. After all, a season away from the eyes of the entirety of England will have allowed him to focus upon his own game and rediscover his form.

West Ham have been crying out for a top quality goalkeeper and they at last have one. His signing could see them realise the potential that the fans and management see in the team.

If the goalkeeper loses his place in the side due to a string of poor performances though, then it will be even more difficult for him to climb back to the top of the Premier League.

 
Ben Darvill

I graduated with an upper second class degree in English and Creative writing from Cardiff Metropolitan University. I have been a freelance sports writer since leaving University and have written for a number of online websites. I am a Chelsea and England fan but I enjoy watching any team play as I have an intense passion for football.


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