West Ham has been planning for a managerial change for some time. Tim Steidten, the technical director, proposed Julen Lopetegui as a potential successor to David Moyes shortly after joining the club. This led to a video call between Lopetegui and co-owner David Sullivan last October, allowing them to establish a connection. With Moyes’s tenure already under scrutiny, Lopetegui, who was eager to return to Premier League management, seemed a strong candidate for the role.

Ultimately, Lopetegui secured a two-year contract with the aim of making West Ham contenders for Champions League qualification. Other candidates, such as Sporting’s Rúben Amorim and Brentford’s Thomas Frank, were considered but not pursued. Despite some internal and fanbase reservations, Sullivan favored Lopetegui, who boasts a significant coaching resume, including managing Real Madrid and winning the Europa League with Sevilla in 2020.

However, there are concerns. Some feel that Lopetegui, having left Wolves and with mixed results at previous clubs, might not be the transformative figure West Ham needs. Criticisms from his time at Sevilla, where he faced internal conflicts and poor signings, add to these doubts. Moreover, his departure from Wolves, despite a strong start, involved disputes over transfer policies, suggesting potential friction with West Ham’s management.

Lopetegui will be tasked with improving a squad that struggled defensively, needing multiple signings to bolster weak areas. His preference for an intense, possession-based style could rejuvenate West Ham, particularly with players like Mohammed Kudus, Jarrod Bowen, and Lucas Paquetá. While Lopetegui’s Premier League record with Wolves was impressive, his overall success will depend on how well he adapts and integrates new talent into the team.

In conclusion, while Lopetegui’s appointment may have its skeptics, he brings a wealth of experience and a tactical approach that could revitalize West Ham, much like David Moyes did despite initial doubts.