ExWHUEmployee Column: Forward situation-lots of ifs and buts
Author: ExWHUEmployee. Published: 24 January 2016 at 9:48pm
So what a performance that was against Manchester City. We played really well and there were some brilliant performances. I know people find this hard to admit but I thought Mark Noble was superb, he won the ball countless times and started the attacks as well. He was everywhere and I am glad that some people in the press picked up on this. I thought his performance was also alongside Alex Song’s best game for us in a long time. He finally seemed to be up to match fitness and again Kouyate played well too. I really thought he had scored at the end and it took me a long time to take my head out of my hands. I felt really sorry for Obiang being dropped as he had played really well but the performances of the other three made that look the correct decision.
I really thought Sam Bryam played really well after his unexpected early start to his West Ham career, he showed confidence and composure considering this was his first ever game for the club and in the Premier League. Martinez comments that he didn’t really want him were just bitter and as I had said since November he was always our top target and he always wanted to join us and not Everton. The deal was in place for him to join Everton but he held on to our offer and until we could get it spot on. This leads me nicely onto transfers and the common theme here is that it is a domino effect.
We didn’t want to sign Byram now, we wanted to sign him in the summer so we originally looked to loan him back to Leeds but they didn’t want that and wanted the cash. We couldn’t afford to bring him in/keep him this January unless a player moved on. We have secured him on a deal worth an initial wage of £25k a week going to £30k on clauses. As I have reported this window the players that we considered moving on were Jelavic, Song and Zarate. Jelavic had a move lined up to China where they would pay big money, but the club involved were going to offset that by trying to sign him on a free transfer. We paid approximately £3m for him at the end of the summer window so wanted some cash back for the player and wouldn’t agree the move until this happened so this has ruled out his move so far.
Alex Song’s agent had been in contact with other clubs and there was some interest being shown in him which we had considered. Song hadn’t been on form at all and had looked a shadow of this former self. The interest appears to have died down and his performance against Manchester City probably means he is staying for the rest of the window.
This leads onto Zarate. Some initial interest was shown from Spanish clubs but again they didn’t want to offer a huge amount in transfer fees so we had to take a slightly lower asking price than we would have liked to Zarate from Fiorentina but we wanted to move him on quickly. This has therefore freed up cash now because Zarate was on a lot more than Byram is now on. This has released some cash for us to sign another forward depending on what can be agreed with their club.
The number one target was and still is Emineke as I reported last week. He would join on loan with a view to move in the summer. There are however issues with securing the deal with his club because they are demanding more of a fee than we expected plus a greater percentage of wages than we originally thought. There is also some baggage that he needs to sort out. We are currently locked into negotiations with his club and we are “close ish” to securing a move.
This has meant we have turned our attention elsewhere and revisited the previous target of Yilmaz. It hasn’t been as close as had been reported previously and claims by some ITKs that both deals would be completed today (Sunday) were very far from the mark and guesses. This is not to say that we are not interested in Yilmaz. A number of things need to be sorted before then. If Jelavic has a transfer fee in for him we could sign both players and as I said it is like dominos but if he doesn’t then it changes things. Needless to say the chairman is working long and hard again.
Originally Emineke was first choice if that can’t be sorted then we may look elsewhere. At the moment a number of things need to happen and this means the transfer situation could change very quickly, all of a sudden or not at all. I know this sounds vague but this is where it stands. There is also the dilemma that Valencia is now scoring, Jelavic has chipped in and Carroll and Sakho are not that far off returning from injury so do we need another forward?
There should be an announcement soon on the company who has won the rights to the Olympic stadiums naming rights and licensing. This announcement could come tomorrow and there has been some big name players involved. The company that has won is a major global force and this will be great for the club. The naming rights of the stadium will go to a poll of supporters and will be something that is the fans decision. I cannot say who it is because of the media implications but it shouldn’t disappoint.
As far as the site goes we will have some videos to upload tomorrow with interviews from the Sullivan’s, The Rib man and Jonjo Heuerman and his dad! We are hoping to do a bit more things like this but time will tell. I will try to update the transfer situation tomorrow should it change.