Transfers this summer have been an interesting experience for West Ham fans. I fully understand the difficulty that we are facing with trying to build a squad whilst remaining inside the particulars of Financial Fair Play, and I gained even more respect for the club this morning after the ‘Davids’ and Big Sam released their official club statement on the fair play situation and how it affects us in the transfer market.
I am so proud to be a supporter of a club that engages in this level of transparency and honesty with their fans. Their openness is incredibly refreshing, and I appreciate the communication, and respect how difficult their jobs are to try to balance the books and deliver quality players to us without risking fines and points deductions.
But having said that, how does this rumored loan signing of Honduran Roger Rojas fit into our plans?
He’s a player that I imagine most English football fans are not overly familiar with. Wikipedia (the least reliable source in the world, I know) has very little to say about him except that he is 23 (please be true) from Honduras, currently playing for Olimpia, and that he is a striker. He appears to be a good one at the Honduran league level, as he is the youngest player to have scored 50 league goals in Honduras. This is promising, but of course the Premier League is quite a challenging league.
What I’m hoping though, is that if he does join us, he won’t also join the likes of fellow footballers George John (American), Brian Montenegro (Paraguayan), and last years great Brazilian hope, Wellington Paulista, in coming all the way across the Atlantic just to sit the bench (a list we can actually chuck our old buddy Argentinian Javier Mascherano into as well.)
George signed a loan deal with West Ham in January 2012, and even scored in his first reserve game, but never played with the first team. Paraguayan Brian Montenegro spent time at West Ham between 2011 and 2012, but featured in just 1 first team game as a substitute. Wellington Paulista was a very confusing part of last season. He signed a 6 month loan deal in January 2013, and scored consistently in the reserves – yet even though he was named on the bench for two games, he never saw a sniff at first team football.
There is a worry among fans that Rojas, a player who most of us are unfamiliar with, may follow the above examples when dropped into a league that he is not familiar with. The truth is that we cannot afford to pay another player who isn’t going to play. We have to take Rojas only if he has stronger scoring potential than Modibo Maiga and Ricardo Vaz Te, and that we are certain that he will get game time. We cannot waste wages on a player who is not Premier League ready. We will have to have a one in, one out policy, so we cannot sign risky players at the expense of current players, who have scored goals (just not as many as we would all like.)
If we sign him, I hope he’s good – not just because I want to see goals and wins, but also because I respect the powers that be, and after all their hard work and honesty, I don’t want any fans to find fault with their summer signings.
What do you think – have you ever seen him play? Is signing an unknown on loan the best use of our last few pence? Let me know below, or tweet me @makingthemarrow