It is Day 26 of the transfer window and we are still very much in the phoney posturing and positioning phase where bids are prepared, resolve is tested and war chests are opened as players come onto the radar, clubs are put on alert while others enter a tug of war to secure the services of that star player. Now with less than a week remaining before the window slams shut it is time to finally swoop, meet that valuation, sort out the paperwork and ink the deal.
Of course we already have one signing safely on board in the form of Number 23 Jose Fonte. In the absence of Angelo Ogbonna for the rest of the season, Fonte is likely to feature regularly in the first team for what is left of the season, particular with the talk of Reece Oxford going out on loan to Glasgow Rangers. Let’s hope that Fonte fares better than the last big money centre back signing from Southampton, Richard Hall, who picked up the West Ham injury curse and made only 8 appearances over 3 years before being forced to hang up his boots forever.
Expectations continue that West Ham should be looking to sign a right back and some sort of striker before the end of the window. There has been little tittle-tattle on the right back situation but a steady flow fo names have come and gone as far as forward players are concerned. Among these are the usual exotic assortment of fanciful foreign players such as M’Baye Niang, Gregoire Defrel, Jonatahn Cafu and Ivan Perisic. The more everyday home grown alternatives, and those that have been more sticky on the rumour conveyor belt, are Robert Snodgrass from Hull and Scott Hogan of Brentford.
Allegedly Hull have accepted offers for Snodgrass from a number of teams including West Ham. It is not a signing that gets the juices flowing and for the type of player that he is and at 29 years old he can only have a couple of seasons left in him. Having said that, I can see him stepping straight into the first team but only while Antonio is played further forward and because Ayew and Feghouli have yet to deliver the goods.
I have never seen Scott Hogan play (even on Youtube) but he is meant to have good pace and movement, both of which are rapidly becoming a must-have for the modern Premier League player (and are attributes missing from Feghouli, Ayew and Snodgrass). He is also young but with that comes inexperience; his scoring record at Brentford has been impressive but he has a worrying injury record. Like any player stepping up a division or arriving from an overseas league it is extremely difficult to be confident of success. Hogan would be a gamble but it might be the type of opportunity that we need to seize.
As for the exit door I believe that there is a high probability that terms will be agreed for Payet and that Calleri will leave with his one Premier League deflected goal. I have seen speculation that incoming deals are dependent on Payet leaving but I can’t believe that finances at this level really work like that, and that Sullivan needs to cash Marseille’s Postal Order before he can pop the cash in a suitcase and drive it up to Hull.
It could yet be an interesting few days……..or not!