West Ham United opened their new Premier League season with a disappointing 2-1 defeat to London rivals Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Monday night.
The Hammers were denied a hard-earned point by Diego Costa’s late winner, even if the Spain international was lucky not be given his marching orders earlier in the piece.
Slaven Bilic’s starting XI was much-changed to the side that finished last season, with a number of new faces given a chance to make their debuts for the Clarets.
But, how did the new men fair?
West Ham have been dealt a pre-season blow with serious injury to Aaron Cresswell, with the former Ipswich star an important player for the east London outfit.
After a transfer scramble to land a new left-back to fill Cresswell’s void, Masuaku was purchased from Olympiakos in a £6 million deal.
— Arthur Masuaku (@ArthurMasuaku) August 15, 2016
The French defender had the unenviable task of shackling Willian at Stamford Bridge but put in a progressive display for the visitors.
Clearly comfortable on the front foot, Masuaku could well be a real asset in games that West Ham have more possession in while he also looked defensively secure.
Verdict – An impressive introduction and good competition for Cresswell
The Norwegian enforcer was added on a free transfer over the summer, with his versatility to play in a number of positions seen as a real bonus to the Premier League club.
Nordveit anchored the West Ham midfield against Chelsea, with Mark Noble and Cheikhou Kouyate alongside him.
I’m not even going to talk about Nordveit. That man looked completely lost out there tonight. Not a single thing was acceptable from him
— Jamie (@Jamiocentro) August 15, 2016
There is every chance that only two of the three will start in games that West Ham are expected to have more possession in – but the Scandinavian put in a decent performance at the Blues.
Nordveit’s work rate and commitment to the cause will have endeared him to the visiting faithful, while he looked confident in possession at times.
However, a number of loose passes, especially in his own half, will come as a worry for Bilic and is something to improve upon. He looked like someone playing in a new team.
Verdict – A slow start. His ideal position and role in the team is yet to be clarified
Ayew is the most familiar of West Ham’s new faces given his exploits with Swansea City last term but the club record signing’s evening was cut short by injury.
In the half hour the African attacker did play, he showed some positive touches on the ball but was largely on the fringes of things.
Verdict – Can be an important man, West Ham will hope he isn’t injured for long
The Turkey international is a favourite of Bilic’s from their mutual days at Besiktas and deputised following Ayew’s injury.
A player that has gained rave reviews for his performances at club and international level, the Hammers fans will expect big things from the former Chelsea youth player.
Really disappointed with Tore… First start and all but he looks clueless and lightweight.. Anyone agree?
— ChimChimCheroo (@ChimCherooWHU) August 15, 2016
However, Tore failed to make an impact in his return to Stamford Bridge and looked a step off the pace in West London.
The winger’s attempts to beat opponents were largely unsuccessful and he was guilty of losing the ball on numerous occasions.
Verdict – A tough introduction for a player that will improve