West Ham Opinion: Hammers should offload Jordan Hugill this summer
West Ham spent a fortune last summer to bring in several top-quality players like Felipe Anderson, Andriy Yarmolenko, Issa Diop and Jack Wilshere upon the arrival of new manager Manuel Pellegrini at east London.
The summer spending spree was clearly a part of West Ham’s long-term plans under Pellegrini and the Hammers had every reason to expect big things from their newly reinforced squad.
Well, it has been a topsy-turvy tale for West Ham in the Premier League this season. They got off to a poor start, picked up momentum in the middle of the season, and with seven games to go, West Ham find themselves 9th in the Premier League standings.
They are still very much in the race to leapfrog ahead of the likes of Watford and Wolves to secure a Europa League qualification spot. In all, the Hammers have improved massively in their first season under Pellegrini after an ill-fated campaign under David Moyes and Slaven Bilic last time around.
However, West Ham should see this season as just the first step towards achieving their goal of closing the gap on the top-six.
The Hammers still have plenty of loose ends to tie if they are to challenge for better things next term and Pellegrini needs to dip into the transfer window once again to overhaul his squad.
While a new right-back, a central midfielder, a centre-back and a prolific No.9 should be high on the manager’s wishlist, West Ham also need to reshape their squad and get rid of deadwood this summer.
To put things into perspective, Jordan Hugill is amongst those who doesn’t seem to have a future at east London under Manuel Pellegrini.
Hugill arrived as a £10 million deadline day recruit from Preston North End last January but the Englishman has clearly failed to make the grade at West Ham.
His involvement was only limited to a few cameos off the bench in the second half of the last season under David Moyes and Pellegrini shipped him out on loan to Middlesbrough immediately prior to the start of the ongoing campaign.
Hugill has not done anything overly impressive on loan at Middlesbrough this season, scoring a paltry 6 goals from 31 appearances in the Championship.
The 26-year-old was a promising striker at the Championship level for Preston but he hasn’t shown anything to convince West Ham that he is capable of playing in the Premier League.
Known for his hold up play and physical strength, Hugill is nothing more than a mediocre target man who is likely to flourish when put in the right team in the second tier.
He is not fast or agile enough to make an impact in the Premier League, particularly in an era where teams are trying to move away from traditional old-school English football and adopt a more free-flowing passing game involving aesthetic build-up play.
West Ham are also trying to do the same with Pellegrini at the helm of affairs and there is no way that someone like Hugill, who is hardly a technically gifted striker, fits into the manager’s plans.
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The futures of Javier Hernández, Lucas Perez, Andy Carroll and Marko Arnautovic are far from secured.
Given that neither of the strikers has hit top gear this term, West Ham would be best served by offloading Jordan Hugill and spending the transfer fee that they receive on a new striker in the summer.