West Ham fans must be looking forward to the summer transfer window like a prisoner does his own death sentence. And whilst said prisoner at least has the privilege of it all being over afterwards – unless you want to open the can of worms that is the debate about the afterlife – Hammers supporters will, unfortunately, have to live in the mess their club looks set to create this summer.
West Ham’s reported shortlist thus far includes none other than injury-stricken midfielder Jack Wilshere (don’t you know he’s started 19 Premier League games this season), and equally crocked Liverpool forward Daniel Sturridge, costing the club a combined outlay of £55million, but the latest target mooted by The Sun really takes the biscuit – Anfield misfit Lazar Markovic.
When the Serbian attacker arrived on Merseyside in summer 2014, he was hailed as one of the best youngsters in Europe, but that reputation quickly unravelled as he managed only eleven Premier League starts in his first season and was subsequently loaned out to Fenerbahce.
Markovic now finds himself out on loan at Hull City and although the 23-year-old has provided glimpses of the pedigree heralded of him a few seasons ago, he’s really not done enough to justify West Ham spending £16m on him – which would be the second-largest signing in the club’s history after summer arrival Andre Ayew.
Indeed, as our infographic shows, whilst Markovic’s impressed somewhat in terms of tackles and dribbles, he’s failed to provide any real goal threat, averaging under one shot and one created chance-per-match, whilst he’s been dispossessed or committed unsuccessful touches four times-per-match. Perhaps most tellingly, he’s yet to claim a goal or an assist for the Tigers.
Of course, things could be a little different in a team not fighting for their lives at the foot of the Premier League table and Markovic has had a positive impact on Hull’s performances overall. But has he really done enough to warrant West Ham’s reported £16m interest? It already seems like money poorly spent on the Hammers’ part.