West Ham boss David Moyes had been desperate to strengthen his squad last month but was only able to bring in two players, Joao Mario from Inter Milan on a short-term loan and striker Hugill from Championship side Preston.
Co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold have a revolt on their hands from supporters angry at what they feel are broken promises over transfers and ambition since the club's move to the former Olympic Stadium.
The club lured sceptical fans away from their beloved Upton Park home of 112 years with the promise of finally being able to compete with the Premier League elite in the transfer market.
That has not come to fruition, though, and there was much apathy at the signing of little known Hugill, who was working in a pub just five years ago.
The 25-year-old has scored 10 goals for Preston this season, his best ever return, and the multi-million pound move to East London raised a few eyebrows on deadline day.
Now the burly striker has taken to Twitter with an emotional message to Preston and West Ham fans as he realises a dream of playing in the Premier League.
"Now the dust has settled and it's had time to sink in a bit, I think it's the right time to say thank you to everyone who has been part of this journey so far," Hugill said on Twitter.
"Thank you to all the boys at Preston, I've made some good friends in them and I'm going to miss you all and I hope to catch up with you soon. Thank you to all the staff at Preston, coaches and backroom staff too.
"Throughout the years you have helped/guided me on my way to today and I will be forever grateful. Finally to all the fans who have stuck by me throughout every hurdle, I've made a lot of memories at Preston, it's a great club and has been a great platform for me to get to this point in my career.
"It's now time to make some amazing new memories at West Ham! It's an amazing opportunity and one I am very grateful for, I cannot wait to get started, Come On You Irons!"
One thing is for certain, despite the reaction to his signing, West Ham fans will back the striker all the way as he bids to prove himself at the highest level.