When Jordan Hugill walked through the doors of the London Stadium for the first time, he excitedly chimed that he couldn’t wait to walk out “with all the bubbles.”
The trouble is, the striker experienced that famous atmosphere just twice in West Ham colours. Signed for £10m from Preston in 2018, Hugill made just three appearances for the Irons – two of which were at home – and he played only 22 minutes in the Premier League.
The 28-year-old’s stay in east London was far from profitable, eventually departing for Norwich last year after loan spells with Middlesbrough and QPR.
He is a striker capable of lighting up the Championship, firing in 20 goals for Preston in one and a half seasons before completing his switch to West Ham.
Hugill continued that form at QPR where he netted 13 last term but like many before him, he didn’t have what it takes to stake a claim for himself in the top-flight.
Unfortunately, the Hammers could be on the verge of repeating this mistake in the January window.
That’s because they’ve been linked with Blackburn forward Adam Armstrong. He is one of a number of names on David Moyes’ shortlist but like Hugill, he hasn’t proven himself in the Premier League.
Similarly to their ex-striker, Armstrong has a habit of scoring goals in the second tier. He has beaten the goalkeeper on 16 occasions this term for Rovers but he failed to ever make the grade at Newcastle.
The 23-year-old has made 15 Premier League appearances throughout his career but is yet to score at that level – just as Hugill failed to do so when he moved to West Ham.
Now, Armstrong may be in good form this campaign but so was Hugill in the Championship before he came to London.
With Sebastien Haller being sold to Ajax, the Irons desperately need to bring in some added firepower up top. Of course, the effervescent Michail Antonio made a name for himself in the Championship before joining, but his hard work and energy knows no bounds.
Armstrong, who has “explosive pace” according to Tony Mowbray, may well hit the ground running in double-quick time. However, Moyes and David Sullivan must learn from the last time they spent a sizeable fee on a Championship striker.
This might be a move they want to avoid. After all, they have plenty of other targets to pursue.