14 February 2020 20:33
West Ham are in real trouble at the moment. David Moyes has problems all over the pitch. The Scot did attempt to address some of those issues by bringing in Jarrod Bowen, Tomas Soucek and Darren Randolph in January. It could be argued that that was nowhere near enough, however. The Hammers are still incredibly light in the centre-forward department.
£45 million summer signing Sebastien Haller is failing to fire, and has scored just six goals in 26 games for West Ham thus far. Albian Ajeti, meanwhile, seems to be a long way off Premier League quality, although in fairness, he hasn't really been given a fair enough chance to prove himself. So did West Ham make a mistake loaning out Jordan Hugill last summer? At first glance, the answer to that question might be no. But if we delve deeper, it would be fair to argue that the Hammers should have kept the 27-year-old. Hugill joined West Ham from Preston North End in January 2018 for around £9 million (Claret and Hugh). He only made three appearances for the Hammers, however, so it is clear that he was never given a chance. The former Preston man was swiftly farmed out on loan to Middlesbrough for the 2018/19 campaign. He then return to West Ham in the summer of 2019, before being loaned out to Queens Park Rangers. Hugill has been a real hit at Loftus Road, scoring 11 goals in 32 outings for the Hoops (Transfermarkt). In 30 Championship appearances this season, the 27-year-old has averaged 2.3 shots and 0.5 key passes per game. He has also won 3.4 aerial duals on average per outing (Who Scored). And having sold Marko Arnautovic, Javier Hernandez and Lucas Perez, and released Andy Carroll, keeping hold of Hugill to play alongside Haller might just have been a wise move. It is so obvious to see that the Frenchman performs better when played alongside someone up front. And the former Preston man could have forged a really decent partnership with the misfiring 25-year-old. Sure, there would have been better options out there than Hugill, but beggars can't be choosers. And West Ham should have kept the 27-year-old at the London Stadium this season. At least up until January just to see what he could have brought to the team.