Sports Football Roberto Close to Spain Return After West Ham Agree Real Valladolid Deal

Roberto Close to Spain Return After West Ham Agree Real Valladolid Deal
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Roberto Jimenez
Roberto in action for La Liga side Alaves whilst on loan | Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

West Ham goalkeeper Roberto is close to leaving the club on a permanent basis, after an agreement was reached with Real Valladolid.

The Spaniard was signed on a free transfer last summer and was called into action when first-choice goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski was stretchered off at Bournemouth in September with a hip problem.

Roberto Jiménez Gago
Roberto was a disaster waiting to happen at West Ham | Visionhaus/Getty Images

But his time between the sticks was an unmitigated disaster, and also coincided with a terrible slump in West Ham’s form – a run of results that eventually cost Manuel Pellegrini his job as manager, and left the club embroiled in a relegation battle.

He was shipped out on loan in January, joining Alaves, and The Guardian now report that an agreement has been reached with Real Valladolid that will bring his nightmare West Ham spell to a permanent end.

The Hammers have agreed to subsidise the 34-year-old’s wages in order to get him off the books, something they also did last season when they contributed 75% of his £30,000-per-week while he was at Alaves.

West Ham moved to replace the Spaniard in the January transfer window, bringing Darren Randolph back to the club after a spell as Middlesbrough’s first choice goalkeeper. They also have David Martin on their books as third choice, and he was preferred to Roberto by Pellegrini during the final few weeks of his tenure.

Darren Randolph
Darren Randolph has returned to provide cover in the goalkeeping department | Stephen Pond/Getty Images

Summing up how bad Roberto’s time at the club was, former Premier League striker – and current BT Sport pundit – Chris Sutton quipped after the 3-2 defeat to Tottenham at the London Stadium that he was among the worst goalkeepers he’d ever seen at the highest level.

“After yet another horror show for West Ham, a few folk on social media were saying Roberto is the worst Premier League goalkeeper since Manchester United’s Massimo Taibi,” Sutton said, quoted by the Daily Mail. “I might have to agree and I got to see Taibi up close, even scoring against him in his last appearance in England.

“Now Roberto is making a name for himself. Seven Premier League games, 15 goals conceded, a save percentage of 68.75 per cent. It is no wonder his own fans were ironically cheering whenever he made a catch on Saturday.”

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