Victor Obinna has settled nicely into life in the English Premier League. Scoring once and providing three assists in only six appearances, Obinna’s emergence in the West Ham starting line-up has coincided with an upturn in fortunes for the east London club, with Obinna having tasted defeat only once in claret and blue, on debut, against reigning champions Chelsea, in a 3-1 home defeat.
But with Obinna only on a season-long loan from Italian giants Inter Milan, should the Hammers move swiftly to secure the striker on a more permanent basis? Obinna himself has stated he is enjoying life in England having been snapped up by West Ham in late August and feels his game is suited to the Premier League, stating; “The football is really fast and that’s the kind of football I’m hoping to play. I’ve been trying to adapt and it hasn’t been that difficult for me”. He also noted; “I’m settled now and I’m enjoying myself” adding “This is the kind of football I really wanted to play and I’m really happy to be here”.
So with the striker settled, happy and feeling himself to be a perfect fit for both club and division, is there anything stopping West Ham swooping to secure a permanent deal, or at least an extension to his season-long loan? The only obstacles in West Ham’s way are price and whether Inter Milan are willing to allow the 23 year-old to move on. But having only appeared 9 times for the San Siro club since his move from Chievo in 2008, and having been shipped out on a season-long loan to Malaga before his journey to Upton Park, I am not sure either Obinna or Inter see each other in their respective futures, leaving the door open for the east Londoners.
Obinna’s youth, ambition and footballing ability should make him the perfect candidate for the struggling club, but the Hammers have had their fingers burnt before by burgeoning young talent hailing from the San Siro. Not 12 months previously, Luis Jiménez, a 25 year-old Chilean international, signed from Inter Milan on a season long, was flattering to deceive with his performances in the Premier League, before a dip in form, combined with falling out of favour at West Ham, meant his contract was terminated early by mutual consent, allowing Jiménez to join Parma until the end of the season. Issuing a parting shot that his “experience in the Premier League ha[d] not gone as [he] wanted”, Jiménez has since returned to Chile to ply his trade, and although he is a player that will not live long in the memory at Upton Park, the Jiménez experience will have left the Irons cautious over jumping too quickly to conclusions.
But with Obinna appearing far more settled and involved at the club, already matching Jiménez’s goal tally for the Hammers, and maintaining a first team spot with far more regularity than the Chilean international known in his native country as ‘The Wizard’, Obinna seems to be a far better fit.
If Obinna’s scintillating form continues, there will be far more clubs than just West Ham interested in the 23 year-old, so it is imperative the Irons strike while the proverbial iron is hot, sealing the signature of the Nigerian, in what would be an investment for the club’s future.