This article is part of Football FanCast’s Loan Watch series, which takes a closer look at those players who are aiming to galvanise their careers away from the spotlight of their parent club.
When Jordan Hugill left West Ham United to join Queens Park Rangers on loan during the summer, he did so as a man with a point to prove
He had pretty much been discarded by the Hammers after playing just 22 minutes of football for them across three substitute appearances in 2018.
The striker spent last season with Middlesbrough, scoring 6 goals in 20 league starts and 17 substitute appearances for the club – a decent total, albeit far from eye-catching.
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He has really kicked on this season at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium though, already exceeding last season’s goal tally with 7 strikes from 11 starts and 4 substitute appearances – that tally includes a brace against Sheffield Wednesday to secure a 2-1 victory for QPR.
Following that game, Mark Warburton summarised how useful he has been for the club, as he was quoted on West London Sport as saying: “A good striker feeds off of good chances and I told him he’d get that by coming to QPR, and he has. He’s responded really well.
“There were good quality finishes today I’m sure he upset a few in the crowd. But you have to do that. You have to come to a tough venue and draw the fouls, and you have to be strong, and you have to look after the football and link play – and he did all of those and more.”
The 27-year-old’s effectiveness hasn’t come solely from goals though, as he has won 3.3 aerial duels per game, helping to bring strike partner Nakhi Wells into the game – his influence is indicated by the fact he has already been awarded Man of the Match twice by WhoScored.
His lack of polish is still evident though, marked by 6 yellow cards, 2.2 fouls committed per game, as well as his average of 2.5 unsuccessful touches.
It is this side of the former Preston North End striker’s game that makes it unlikely Manuel Pellegrini will reinstate him to the West Ham team, but that should not detract from the fact Hugill, who is valued at £5.4m by Transfermarkt, has achieved some form of redemption this season after a tough couple of years since moving to the Hammers.