It’s been a bit, but dang it we are back and ready to party. Sure, WHUFC.com has completely ripped our title, changing from their old, boring “Loanee round-up” to our more fun, exhilarating, full-of-moxie “Loan Watch” but it’s fine! We’ve got the more fun and more thorough read here.
This season West Ham United’s got five loanees out in the world, and while it’s looking like a few are fated to just be fringe players for the claret and blue, we are seeing flashes of brilliance from each of them from time to time. So let’s hop into it.
Hugill is one of those signings that the West Ham bosses made last season that just did not make a ton of sense. They were in dire need of a striker and forked over a decent sum of money for someone who made absolutely no impact at all. The £10m Hugill played an entire 22 minutes for West Ham in 2017/18, and now they’ve loaned him out to newly relegated Middlesbrough. That’s roughly £7,576 per second of playing time for you math fans out there. And, of course, things are not going great for Hugill, which we pretty much expected.
Jordan Hugill comfortably one of the most limited centre forwards I’ve ever seen play for Boro. Still rather have him than Negrado though— Toby Higgins (@TobyHiggins_) October 2, 2018
Hugill is getting playing time, and he’s averaging 46 minutes per match in the Championship, yet he still has not scored a goal through six. Pretty woeful for even a £10m Premier League striker. Hugill has, however, recently earned a starting spot, and even with his poor production the Smoggies have managed to gain points in each of their last four matches that he’s played, albeit only two were wins. Even with that, Middlesbrough are neck and neck with Leeds United for first place in the second-tier league.
Let’s hope to see continued improvement from the 26-year-old. Maybe a goal or two? Is that too much to ask?
Since Carlos Sanchez suffered a possibly season-ending injury last week, it might prove a bit of a problem that Edi is loaned out. But, what’s done is done. We would love to see Cullen recalled before Fernandes, but we’ll get into that in a bit.
Fernandes has been good, even sometimes great, for West Ham over the last two seasons, and he’s filling in pretty nicely off the bench for Fiorentina. His squad is currently placed third in Serie A with 13 points through seven matches played. While the Italian league isn’t quite up to the same standard as the Premier League, it’s got fine quality and it’s a place where Edi can continue to get his feet under him. He’s still got a bit to improve, which has been noted by the more frequent watchers of Serie A football, but, for a 22-year-old who has just bounced from England to Italy, he’s doing quite well.
Fernandes has featured in six of Fiorentina’s seven matches, playing 381 total minutes this season, but has lost his starting position through the last three matches. Something hints to us that this could be due to the three yellow cards that our man has accumulated through six games, but he’s still seeing the pitch often and making an impact and that’s all we need from Fernandes at this point in time.
Josh Cullen may be one of those that are fated to wallow in the lower leagues for their entire career. There’s no shame in it. Making a living from sport, no matter the level, is respectable. The only shame would be if Cullen never got the chance in the first team that he so rightly deserved. Until that day comes, he is at League One side Charlton Athletic doing what he does best, and already becoming quite the fan favorite.
Josh Cullen is a fine player with an extremely high motor and we’re not the only ones who think that now, more than ever, might be a good time to consider recalling him from loan.
Sanchez out injured for the foreseeable future, Wilshere out injured already and will be missing for a while - surely it is time to recall Josh Cullen who shouldn’t have gone out on loan anyway?!— Josh Verrills (@WestHamJoshV) September 27, 2018
Everywhere Cullen has gone, he has excelled. Why would now not be the time to give him a shot at the first team? Lanzini is missing this season, Mark Noble has been losing his legs for three years (even though he is still, of course, peak Mark Noble), Wilshere is injured for another few weeks, and now it looks as if Sanchez could be out the remainder of the season as well.
He is consistently winning Man of the Match and picking apart opposing midfields. It feels as if management has always been waiting on giving Cullen a shot for when he can score, but when your midfield is in the sorry state that West Ham’s currently is, there are other things to worry about, like a solid holding midfielder.
You remind me of a young Scott Parker. Well done and keep it going— Chom Claziridis (@ChomClaziridis) September 23, 2018
Cullen has played in five full matches for Charlton Athletic, the most recent being in a 5-3 loss on 2nd October. After eleven total matches, Charlton is sitting pretty at 8th place, but only three points back from Doncaster who sit in 3rd. Safe to say that League One is pretty wide open at this point, and with Cullen seeing consistent playing time, this could be the season he really makes it over the hump. Sure, League One is just slightly less competitive than the Premier League, but if Cullen is performing there, then we think Manuel Pellegrini may give him a chance next season. Especially with an aging, injury prone midfield. Lanzini and Cullen would look good in a season or two when Noble throws in the towel as a player and becomes an assistant manager. We all know it’s going to happen.
Sead has not yet played for Málaga’s equivalent of a PL2 squad, but he is a player who shows a lot of promise, and we’re looking forward to him getting in a few matches here and there. If you haven’t heard or seen much about the 19-year-old Swede, enjoy this highlight video, courtesy of a random West Ham account.
Last, and quite possibly least, is Sam Byram. The 25-year-old has played a total of 75 minutes in league matches for 11th place Championship side Nottingham Forest, and that was way back in August. Byram had made two Carabao Cup appearances since that match back in August, but he suffered an injury and is now back at West Ham recovering from knee surgery. Things are not looking too great for the Leeds academy product now, but we are hoping that they could be looking up come the second half of the season.