West Ham target right sided forward….but which one? Marcus Johns takes a look at the options.
In a time of instant information being available at your finger tips, the internet is full of so called “In The Know” bloggers and twitterers desperate to make you believe they have the first story. Some of these have fairly tenuous back stories. I mean, don’t get me wrong – I’ve never been a football agent – but if I was, I doubt I would want to risk jeopardising potential deals by anonymously revealing the details. Nor would I imagine having enough time to be able to update my social media site throughout the day. Even on School Holidays!!
However, in amongst the throngs, there are a few reliable sources. From a West Ham perspective, none more so (you’d think) that Jack Sullivan – son of majority stakeholder David – who has previously advance published news of Andy Carroll’s medical, January transfer targets, and a less than encouraging public opinion of the Chamakh signing.
So, after posting the following message on Tuesday night, its fair to say that West Ham fans on Twitter had their hopes sent through the stratosphere.
“We hope to sign right sided striker within 48 hours. Terms agreed with his club. He’s a very exciting prospect. When its done I’ll let you know”
So who is he referring to? Vydra and Kalou have already been dismissed by Sullivan, but rumours have been rife, so lets look at the possible candidates that have been banded about;
Who? Exciting winger given his chance by Brendan Rodgers at the start of last season. Drifted off towards the end, and was used mainly as a substitute following the arrival of Daniel Sturridge, but performed well enough to warrant an England call up.
Likelihood? In all honesty, despite him being the rumoured favourite, a move to West Ham seems unlikely. Rodgers favours a young exciting player to build for the future, so selling him doesn’t seem to fit in with the Liverpool ethos. The only way West Ham could sign him would be a loan – but with him already gaining Premier League experience at Liverpool, why would they? Whilst it would be a coup for West Ham, its unlikely to happen
Who? Man City winger who was signed last summer, on the back of an outstanding season at Swansea. He was, however, rarely used by Man City, and will be looking to kickstart his career.
Likelihood? Rumoured to have moved to Manchester to appease his then girlfriend Helen Flanagan. However, as his career hit a downward spiral, so too did their relationship, and a move back to his native south might favour him on many levels. With a good season potentially being enough to warrant a late World Cup charge, Sinclair needs to be playing – something he would seemingly be assured of at Upton Park. However, there are many other clubs reportedly in for him – West Brom and Everton being but two – but with Carroll bound to be watched by the England management this year, West Ham may provide the perfect platform to showcase his abilities. Wages however, may be the stickler.
Who? Scottish international who was one of the few bright lights for Norwich last year. Renowned for his crossing ability, he could be just the type of player to thrive upon having Andy Carroll to aim for.
Likelihood? As Norwich’s player of the year last year, it would take a brave manager to sell him. However, an attacking revolution has taken place at Carrow Road, with the arrivals of Van Wolfswinkel and Hooper potentially leading to a different style of play to Holt and Becchio. With the further addition of Leroy Fer, and young winger Nathan Redmond, Norwich may accept an offer to cash in on the player to balance the books believing they have young replacements. Interesting to note, that as these rumours hit Twitter, Snodgrass was left out of an otherwise full strength squad to play Brighton……watch this space!
Who? Nigerian International with 6 goals in 15 appearances. Currently playing for Spartak Moscow, hitting 20 goals in his 41 games since joining. During a spell in Turkey was once arrested as part of match fixing probe, though was later acquitted.
Likelihood? A possibility, until reports in Russia claimed last night he was set to remarkably make a return to Turkey. His name has been mentioned in several gossip columns in regards to a move to West Ham. But does he fit the mould? At 26 and untested in a major league, he’s hardy an exciting prospect. His experience has been mainly through the middle rather than out on the right. The Hammers may just have missed the boat on this one.
Who? Another Nigerian International, the West Brom player is most famous for turning up at QPR in a desperate attempt to force through a move.
Likelihood? West Ham fans will be hoping not, if only for the rather disruptive nature of his last 6 months at West Brom. However, his Premier League record of 30 goals in 87 goals cannot be sniffed at, and would provide a real threat of pace and goals. Someone who would be able to exploit the space in behind Andy Carroll when he drops deep for flick on’s, the Odemwingie of 12 months ago would be an exciting proposition. The concern would be that a potential negative reaction from fans may well put Allardyce off.
Well, West Ham already have 3 potential right sided attackers in their ranks. Ricardo Vaz Te scored the goal that promoted West Ham, but an injury ravaged campaign last year followed by a few iffy performances have led to West Ham fans losing faith. Joe Cole has the ability to play the wide right role, but does he have the pace?
Many believe his best position to be working off Carroll in a traditional number 10 role – though Allardyce clearly favours Nolan in this role. Pre-season has also seen the re-emerhence of Ravel Morrison. Once dubbed by Sir Alex Fergusson to be the most exciting youngster he had ever seen, question marks over his attitude saw him sold to West Ham, who in turn loaned him to Birmingham.
There’s no doubt that if he has controlled his attitude, then he has a long future in the game. This has lead many West Ham fans to question the need for another player in this position – some favouring a loan move for an established player such as Milner to aid Morrison’s development.
Even so, if the prospect is as exciting as Jack Sullivan seems to suggest it will be, West Ham fans are bound to be excitedly keeping tabs on twitter to find out the latest.
Whether the signing will flatter to deceive or be a player of genuine class, you can be guaranteed of one thing. Someone, somewhere will be saying they told us so.
image: © Matthew Black