West Ham United are reportedly very close to signing Brentford striker Scott Hogan, after having two bids already rejected earlier this month. The 24-year old has been in fine form for the Championship club and has attracted interest from the likes of Newcastle United, but he is keen on a move to the top division and could be soon seen taking the field at the London Olympic Stadium.
The Hammers started the season nowhere near the expected mark, after having finished 7th in the league table the past season. The struggle was so bad that at one point of time, it seemed certain that they will be embroiled in the relegation battle for sure. However, on the back of some good outings in recent weeks, Slaven Bilic’s side have managed to rise up to the 12th position and look to be safe from the drop.
While all the areas on the pitch have struggled to perform to the level from last year, the striking department was something that had extremely disappointed. Bilic had signed as many as three strikers in the summer of 2016, bringing in Simone Zaza on loan from Juventus, Jonathan Calleri, again on loan from Uruguayan club Deportivo Maldonado and youngster Ashley Fletcher from Manchester United.
However, none of them made any impact in London. While Fletcher is still young to be leading the line on a regular basis, Calleri has struggled to get going due to injury woes. However, it was Zaza who disappointed the most. An international player for Italy, Zaza looked completely out of sorts in West Ham colours, struggling to adapt to the Premier League. The Juventus man did not score even a single goal for the Londoners and has now moved to La Liga side Valencia, bringing an end to his abysmal spell in London.
That would leave Bilic with only Andy Carroll as the main striker along with Michail Antonio who has been used through the middle recently. So, it makes perfect sense for West Ham to move for Hogan who has been enjoying a great spell in the Championship.
On being quizzed about the interest in Hogan and his potential arrival, Bilic, earlier this month, said:
“Scott is a good player. I watched him a few times.”
“He is, again, scoring goals. He is very sharp, quick. A good finisher – doing it in the Championship, young and a good prospect.”
The 24-year old has had a great start to the season, scoring 14 goals in his 25 Championship appearances while also setting up one goal. At 5ft 11in, he may not be the tallest striker around, but he more than makes up for it with his strength and physical presence. Very intelligent in his movement off the ball, he is known to leave defences bamboozled quite often and can offer West Ham a direct threat with his knack for running behind the last man. An excellent finisher from either foot, Hogan also has great instincts to be in the right place at the right time.
While he may be scoring regularly in the Championship, the Premier League might prove to be quite a big step-up for Hogan. But given his experience in England, his know-how of the English football and his current form and confidence, he could prove to be just the signing West Ham need to push further up the table.