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Rooney is the Last Player West Ham Needs

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Rooney rumor shines a spotlight on West Ham’s deeply flawed transfer policy.

Manchester United v Hull City - Premier League Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

Here we are again. Late in the season, and David Sullivan and David Gold are up to their old thinly-veiled transfer tricks. Planting rumors left and right in the media about world class players that will never come to West Ham United. Not only that, it’s very apparent in this particular instance that they aren’t even aware what West Ham needs the most. It’s obvious that West Ham need a very good striker who can stay fit, meanwhile a rumor about 31-year-old Wayne Rooney gets out. We’ve seen Rooney’s form take a large dip this season. Does the board think Rooney’s going to get better with age? Of course not.

“Never say never” has that muppet David Sullivan written all over it.

West Ham is quickly becoming the retirement home of the Premier League. The place players go before they head off to The Great Beyond (MLS), where their careers can finally rest in peace. Álvaro Arbeloa and Jose Fonte are two examples of aging players that West Ham signed in the last two transfer windows, but that’s nothing compared to the amount of players West Ham have been linked with. Rooney is just another big name that will never come to West Ham.

This illustrates my point quite well.

As if it’s not hard enough to make West Ham a marketable club to top players, the way the Davids are handling business in East London certainly isn’t helping. If we, as supporters, can see it, then surely players can see it. No one wants to play for a club whose owners use Twitter to chat sh*t instead of handling business behind closed doors, and fans are becoming more and more annoyed with the way team news is being handled. Sort of like when Jack Sullivan announced the injury news of Winston Reid, Pedro Obiang, and Michail Antonio via his personal Twitter. One would think that the club would see fit to at least release a statement from the West Ham account, but nope.

Here’s one example of a rumor for a top player that never happened.

So, yes, Rooney is a good player, but he will never come to West Ham. Even if he does become a Hammer, Rooney is going to retire or move on in 2-3 years. Where does that leave the club? Still sitting with underdeveloped, young strikers who never got the chance to play in the Premier League because the owners were too busy trying to buy players that were 30 or older. That’s not the way a club moves forward. Incessantly lowballing clubs and getting players on dodgy loan contracts is not how a club moves forward either. A club moves forward by acquiring young talent, developing it, and someday putting that developed product out onto the pitch. The Davids “go after” top players, getting supporters’ hopes up, and then come careening down, snagging a couple of mediocre players on free transfers before they crash into the pavement. Sometimes paying the price for a quality player is worth it. The brass at West Ham still haven’t seemed to grasp that after seven years.

The Rooney rumors aren’t troubling because of the fact that everyone knows he’ll never step foot in the London Stadium—that happens with clubs all the time. What’s troubling about the Rooney rumors is that they’re about Rooney. There is seemingly no ambition from the owners for players that the club could actually sign. Instead, big names get tossed about when everyone is renewing their season tickets. A trick that David Gold and David Sullivan have been pulling for a while now.