After seeing some frankly embarrassing approaches for Jermain Defoe and Robert Snodgrass fail, West Ham look set to finally pull-off a January signing and strengthen their forward line with a much-needed new striker.
That man will be Brentford’s Scott Hogan, who has scored 14 goals in the Championship this season and was absent for his side’s 2-1 defeat to Newcastle United at the weekend as the Hammers continued with negotiations.
Finally, the Hammers are edging towards a positive conclusion after agreeing a deal initially worth £9m, with the two sides now discussing the additional clauses that will see the figure rise closer to Brentford’s £15m valuation.
Currently, West Ham’s offer is said to be worth around £13.5m but that could rise as negotiations continue. In the end though, Hogan is likely to move to East London.
On the face of it, yes. West Ham have struggled for goals this season as top-scorer Michail Antonio has eight goals in the Premier League, whilst no other member of Slaven Bilic’s side has found the net on more than five occasions.
Hogan, meanwhile, has found the net 14 times in 25 appearances this season and has registered one assist. His positive impression since battling back from knee ligament surgery has been excellent but, as in every deal, there are some concerns.
Firstly, there is the risk of Hogan aggravating his previous injury at some stage and West Ham’s injury record is bleak. That’s the risk for any player though, so fans shouldn’t dwell on it too much.
The second issue is perhaps far more alarming, as it’s debatable whether Hogan can excel in the Premier League. A number of players have shone in the Championship before struggling in the top-flight, with Sylvain Ebanks-Blake being a prime example, and there’s always the risk Hogan will find the same issues.
It’s a necessary risk though as West Ham need a new striker and one with a decent record, so Hogan ticks all the points on their check-list.