Why one of West Ham's best pieces of transfer business was unintentional

West Ham ended up keeping hold of a valuable squad player, though reports suggested they tried to sell.

Throughout the last few weeks of the transfer window, West Ham United weren't just linked with new signings - of which four came through the door during Deadline Day. Indeed, the east London side were tipped to offload one or two squad members, as well. Chief among them: James Collins.

The centre-back was linked with a move to Norwich City at first, by the Daily Mirror, and was ultimately reported by the same paper to have snubbed Queens Park Rangers, despite being given the go ahead to leave West Ham.

Yet keeping the 32-year-old may end up being one of West Ham's best bits of transfer business. Which is all the more interesting considering the decision was his not the club's. I.e. an unintentional one on the Hammers' part.

A look at their first-team squad shows you just how light Slaven Bilic's side are at centre-back beyond their first-choice trio. James Tomkins, Angelo Ogbonna and Winston Reid make a formidable set of defenders but, beyond them, there are only youngsters Reece Burke and Reece Oxford.

Even if Collins barely plays again for Bilic's men, then, keeping him at Upton Park is essential simply for squad depth. Former West Ham winger Matthew Etherington continually stated on Twitter that the east London side were looking to sell Collins in mid to late August - and continually stated why they shouldn't.

He was right. Holding onto the 32-year-old could prove as important for the Hammers as any of their new additions.

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