Will Lukasz Fabianski be West Ham United's number one?
West Ham United has been busy so far in this transfer window. Among the Hammers' three new signings is goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski. The Poland international, currently on World Cup duty, joined from Swansea City three days ago.
At 33, Fabianski has built a solid reputation over the past 15 years. Starting out in his home country at Lech Poznan, he went on to play for Legia Warsaw before arriving at Arsenal in 2007. The Polish keeper spent eight seasons with the Gunners, appearing 78 times in all competitions. Despite failing to cement his position, he gained some vital experience in English football
Fabianski left Arsenal on a free transfer. At Swansea, he earned number-one status for the first time since arriving in England. Going on to make 149 Premier League appearances gave him relief. Last season, however, was a huge disappointment. The Swans' relegation meant crucial decisions needed to be made.
Due to losing Premier League revenue, the Welsh club's budget requires cutting by 30-40% this summer. Swansea must balance the books, while also freeing funds to sign new players. West Ham made an offer they couldn't refuse - £7 million to end Fabianski's four-year spell with the Swans.
New Swansea boss Graham Potter is tasked with finding both the right system and players. Having spent his whole managerial career in Sweden, the former Ostersund coach will soon oversee his first campaign on English soil. Losing Fabianski was an early blow.
Fabianski is best known for his shot-stopping ability. He's proficient at parrying shots away from danger, as well as tipping long-range efforts either past the post or over the bar. His penalty-saving exploits also come to the fore at times.
Fabianski's move to West Ham comes with risk, though. He was the undisputed number one at Swansea, a team content just to avoid relegation in the last two seasons. The Hammers, meanwhile, have bigger aspirations. To fulfil them, they need excellence in between the sticks
Adrien won't be pushed aside easily. The Spaniard has been at West Ham since 2013. He featured in 19 Premier League games last campaign. However, his failure to usurp the underperforming Joe Hart bodes well for Fabianski. The Hammers' effort to pursue the Pole suggest he will have an important role.
Fabianski will be joined by two other recent additions in French defender Issa Diop and right-back Ryan Fredericks. Manuel Pellegrini is getting the ball rolling. Despite a reported incident with the owners concerning financial issues, the new West Ham boss has been afforded £29 million up to now.
Fabianski must quickly prove his worth. Playing alongside talents such as Manuel Lanzini, Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez offers him a great chance to reach the next level. The 33-year-old will thrive should Pellegrini build a stable defence to support him.
West Ham are aiming for a top-half finish next season, at the very least. Fabianski, as number one keeper, can help them achieve such targets.