Another day, another West Ham deal breaking down. Not a huge surprise, as Brentford were asking £15m for a striker who is unproven in the Premier League, but £15m is a pretty average price for an Englishman, which in the Premier League there seems to be a premium on, and also for a striker who, by January, has scored 21 goals in 27 appearances. Most teams want someone who can score 20+ goals before the end of the season, but Hogan has done it by midseason. That’s impressive, and that’s why many are baffled as to why West Ham won’t cough up another £2.5m, or even just agree to Brentford’s terms of paying more of the original £12.5m bid upfront, to finally get a deal done.
We are unable to agree a fee with his club so at moment yes but we may go back in again https://t.co/AhRbeICT9N— ExWHUemployee (@ExWHUemployee) January 13, 2017
Sources are reporting that the Hogan deal broke down because David Sullivan wanted the deal to be a small amount of cash and then performance clauses that would guarantee the £12.5m the board bid wouldn’t all be paid if Hogan turned out to be a bust. Brentford, of course, wanted most of the money upfront, as no matter how talented a player is, there are always questions when moving up from the Championship to the Premier League (see: Jordan Rhodes).
For some, though, it seems pretty obvious as to why the deal broke down. Slaven Bilic, almost immediately after the news of Payet broke, has placed Antonio Martinez into first team training.
Is it a coincidence that the Scott Hogan deal breaks down right as Martinez gets included in the first team?— Charlie Walsh (@KingdomOfWHAM) January 13, 2017
Fans have been asking for Martinez to get into the first team since late December, after the 19-year-old striker went on an absolute tear in the Premier League 2, banging in twelve goals in ten games.
Here’s a small sample of what Toni Martinez brings to the table:
In the end, it could be that we never needed Hogan, or anyone from the outside really, and that Slaven just needed to dig deep and trust our youth players to get things done.
Martinez may get a chance to prove we don't need Hogan https://t.co/hYwHw3b7bV— ExWHUemployee (@ExWHUemployee) January 13, 2017
We don’t blame Brentford for wanting to get all that they can out of Hogan, as he’s made a massive difference for their squad. The £15m asking price didn’t seem all that unreasonable, and them settling for West Ham’s £12.5m bid was almost a dream. But, as the West Ham club song goes, our dreams, like those pretty bubbles, fade and die. While we’re on that note, we’re beginning to think that the board are the ones hiding the fortune—because they apparently can’t afford anyone in this window.