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Rat will relish being an Irons man

TEAMtalk guest Simon Yaffe believes Razvan Rat, tipped to join West Ham this summer, will add more steel to the Irons' defence.

Last Updated: 09/05/13 at 11:46 Post Comment   

Razvan Rat: Would be a good addition to the West Ham squad

Razvan Rat: Would be a good addition to the West Ham squad

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The last Romanian to play for West Ham United allegedly absconded from the matchday squad to go shopping in Harvey Nichols.

Hammers fans don't remember Florin Raducioiu in a favourable light.

But they'll be hoping his fellow countryman Razvan Rat makes much more of an impact at Upton Park than the striker who scored just three times during the 1996/1997 season before heading back to Espanyol.

The rumoured capture of Rat on a free transfer shows that West Ham boss Sam Allardyce is already planning for next season - despite enduring his fair share of critics among the faithful over his supposedly negative tactics.

West Ham have enjoyed a stellar season back in the Premier League, but there is still some discourse among from the stands over a lack of attractive football at Upton Park.

Hammers fans may argue it is hardly a signing to get the juices flowing, but Rat comes with a good pedigree.

And he should add some steel to a defence which has, at times, looked leaky this campaign.

Currently the first choice left-back for his country, Rat may be an unknown quantity in England, but sometimes players who are not 'star names' do shine.

West Ham supporters only have to look at the money spent on well-known signings such as Matt Jarvis to know that spending big doesn't always mean spending well.

Rat, 31, has spent 10 years with Ukrainians Shakhtar Donetsk and has been part of its most successful era under fellow Romanian Mircea Lucescu.

As well as six Ukrainian Premier League titles, Rat also has four Ukrainian Cup winners' medal to his name, as well as helping his team to lift the UEFA Cup in 2009, the last before it was re-branded to become the Europa League.

He also represented Romania at Euro 2008.

It was Lucescu who signed Rat to Rapid Bucharest from junior side Sporting Pitesi in 1998.

He went on to make 82 appearances over five years before he followed Lucescu east to Ukraine.

Capped 88 times by his country, Rat's potential arrival could mean Joey O'Brien or George McCartney leaving East London.

Neither have particularly impressed this season.

Allardyce has reportedly beaten Marseille - and the prospect of Champions League football - to seal Rat's signature.

Nothing has been confirmed yet.

But a shored up defence, with Rat alongside James Tomkins, Guy Demel and Winston Reid, will give West Ham a more sturdy look for next season.

You can follow Simon Yaffe, @Yafs, on Twitter here.

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