Nothing demonstrates the improvement in West Ham’s fortunes this season better than the loan deals the club has secured. There has been a clear step up in calibre amongst the players brought in on season-long contracts.
After the debacle of signing players such as Roger Johnson, Pablo Armero, and Marco Borriello, on a non-permanent basis last term, the powers that be have overseen a positive shift.
Alex Song and Carl Jenkinson have been a revelation for the club, and a driving force behind the improvement in performances and results. However, the worst thing about loan signings is the fear of losing them. The outstanding efforts for West Ham may just put them in the shop window for other clubs.
It’s clear that letting either get away would significantly worsen the starting XI.
At right back, 22-year-old Jenkinson has been superb on the pitch, but his quality was demonstrated best in his absence.
Rules meant Jenkinson missed out, and arguably, that cost West Ham the win, given the dominance displayed for much of the game.
In midfield, Song has been exceptional on loan from Barcelona. Paraded before fans at the home game against Southampton, arguably the team’s worst performance, he came into the squad at the same time results started to pick up.
Allardyce spoke of the leadership and commanding presence Song would play with, and that has proved true. He has marshalled the midfield fantastically, and added class to the centre of the pitch with his combination of passing, tackling, and decision making.
There’s no doubt both players have contributed enormously to the upturn in performances, but if the club can only keep one, the obvious choice is to go with Song.
He brings more to the whole team, and can influence the play to a greater extent, week in, week out.
But a true representation of West Ham’s rise to greater prominence would be if the club were to secure both signings on a permanent basis.