Guy Demel is a player who is highly regarded, or at least he was prior to his move to West Ham. The Hammer surprised everybody by snapping him up last August, a player who many Premier League clubs would have been glad to sign, nevermind one in the Championship.
Sam Allardyce is renowned for his pull in the transfer market, and the acquistion of Demel was proof that he still had it, even in English football's second tier.
He was included in our 'best deals of deadline day', and finally it looks like he is showing his quality.
For the Ivory Coast international had a bad start at West Ham, in fact it wasn't really much of a start at all, with injury preventing him from making a first team start until November, and then he was ruled out between December and April.
He made 10 appearances in total, seven in the league, and three in the play-offs, including a start in the play-off final win over Blackpool at Wembley.
His end of season performances were enough to persuade Sam Allardyce he was worth pursuing with, and after a full pre-season, he has come back in full health.
Demel also played in the play-off semi-final against Cardiff where his side kept clean sheets in both matches, before winning the final 2-1. Which means in his last seven appearances, the club have conceded in just two.
It is a fine record, which is down not just to him, but the full defensive unit. What's more is that this season the tough tackler has only given away two fouls in his four matches.
It should be no surprise to see Demel proving his worth, he is a player who has played at the very highest level, in the World Cup in 2010 where he infamously clashed with Cristiano Ronaldo.
The 31-year-old has also featured in the Champions league for Hamburg, where he played for a decade, previously with Borussia Dortmund.
One word of warning to the Hammers is that Demel signed on a two year deal, meaning it will expire next summer. West Ham do have an option to extend it by a further year, and based on his showings and fitness so far this season they would be wise to do so.
What do you think of Demel's performances so far this season?
image: © Tom Cuppens