If you keep up with Brace the Hammer’s Weekly Loan Watch, you’ve likely heard a bit about George Dobson. Here’s a quote pulled directly from the West Ham Loanee Index for some reference:
George Dobson was brought to West Ham from Arsenal in the summer of 2015. While he’s not necessarily a “world class” signing, we think that Georgie can become quite the player. He’s had a slow start to his career, not playing in any games in 2015/16, but some have said that Dobson’s play is reminiscent of Tottenham Hotspur midfielder, Eric Dier. We’re not incredibly fond of Tottenham ‘round these parts, but we can recognize when a good player is a good player, and Eric Dier is certainly that.
It’s not a secret that George Dobson has talent in gobs, and at the young age of 19 he’s got plenty of time to improve his game even more and become a world class player, but it seems that the defensive midfielder is having second thoughts about where he would fit in to West Ham’s squad. With 24-year-old Pedro Obiang finally getting his chance, and Cheikhou Kouyaté, who is just 27, holding down the defensive midfield, we think that Dobson’s fear for his future with the club is somewhat justified.
But, by the time Dobson turns 21 or 22, which is generally when these young players start breaking through into the first-team, Kouyate will be 29 or 30 and will be on the decline, so it’s not all that improbable that we could be looking at West Ham’s next solid defensive midfielder. It will just take more time than Dobson would like, and therein lies the problem.
"It's been frustrating at times, not playing as much as I would hope to but I've stuck at it and I've been used a lot recently off the bench. I've enjoyed the opportunity I've been given and I'm just trying to get as many games as I can and impress as many people as I can ... It's my first loan. When I came here I was only 18 so it's hard when you're not playing. But I'm confident and I have faith in my ability and I feel like I've improved a lot in the last few months."
This quote from Dobson tells that he definitely doesn’t doubt that he’s got the ability, and in an interview with Walsall’s manager, Jon Whitney, the Walsall gaffer revealed that young Georgie had been “literally banging on [his] door” to start a match after a lengthy spell on the bench.
Whitney stated: "George came off with nothing left on Saturday, but that's what you have to do if you want to win games, that's what you have to sacrifice physically. George came to me after the defeat at Northampton, shut the door behind him and said he wanted to fight for me and this team. I told him I knew that. But I explained I have to decide when it is right to put the younger players in. George deserved his chance because he has done well when he has come in. I watched him for the under-21s and he has dictated play. We needed someone to come in and just free Adam Chambers up a little bit because I wanted Adam to try and win the ball a bit higher up the pitch. George can then be the one that links the play and he did that really well."
This is pretty high praise for a 19-year-old, and it proves that Dobson not only has the ability, but also the attitude, of someone who could eventually break through into some first-team football with West Ham. The beauty is that it’s not only coming from fans or Dobson himself, but from the manager who George is on loan with.
As far as what’s going to happen in the future, Dobson had this to say:
"I've got the rest of this season and then one more year on my West Ham contract. Then you never know what will happen.”
We hope that Dobson will be around for a while. Even with Obiang and Kouyate, one can never overstate the importance of having a good amount of solid holding midfielders.