West Ham deadline day problems as director of recruitment is suspended
PUBLISHED: 10:13 01 February 2018
Preston striker Jordan Hugill is the only new arrival
As transfer windows go, January 2018 will not go down as a classic one for West Ham United.
They sold Diafra Sakho to Rennes, Andre Ayew back to Swansea City, they sent out Reece Burke on loan to Bolton Wanderers again and Reece Oxford back to Borussia Monchengladbach.
That is four players gone in a window where manager David Moyes insisted they needed to boost the squad, not reduce it.
So what about those coming in? Joao Mario looks to have improved the midfield. He looks a stylish edition to the squad and has already shown his worth.
However, he is only a loan signing with a view to a permanent deal, and there are no guarantees that he will want to come at the end of the season, especially if the Hammers are struggling near the bottom.
There was little jubilation about West Ham’s only permanent signing – Jordan Hugill from Championship side Preston North End.
The 25-year-old joined Preston from Port Vale in 2014 and spent time on loan at Tranmere and Hartlepool, before establishing himself at Deepdale.
He has scored 10 goals for the Lilywhites this season, but there has hardly been a clamour for his signature among other clubs.
West Ham paid £9million for the centre forward, but even at that price it is a gamble and he may not be ready for the Premier League yet.
And to add to all that, in a week when Arthur Masuaku was suspended for spitting and Michail Antonio was left out for being late to a team meeting again, West Ham have been hit with another blow.
Director of recruitment Tony Henry is being investigated after comments he made about African players at the club.
It was alleged in a national newspaper that he has said African players ‘have a bad attitude’ and ‘cause mayhem’ when they are not it the team.
He also allegedly claimed that it was a policy supported by club management, though West Ham had ‘nothing against the African race at all’.
The club made a statement about the issue saying: “The Club can confirm that Director of Player Recruitment Tony Henry has been suspended pending a full and thorough investigation.
“West Ham United will not tolerate any type of discrimination and has, therefore, acted swiftly due to the serious nature of these claims.
“The West Ham United family is an inclusive one where, regardless of gender, age, ability, race, religion or sexual orientation, everybody feels welcome and included.
“The Club will make no further comment until the investigation has been concluded.”
After a disappointing transfer window and the criticism that the club have received from supporters on social media, some cynics would say that Henry could be a convenient scapegoat.
But it seems unlikely that West Ham would go that far in deflecting from the criticism they are currently getting..
Who knows, maybe Hugill will prove to be the buy of the window and Mario will go from strength to strength.
And when the players come back from injury, it could be a window quickly forgotten.
We shall see.