West Ham United have made some highly questionable signings over the past few seasons, but none has raised eyebrows more than their January acquisition of striker Jordan Hugill.
The 25-year-old forward arrived at the London Stadium in a £10million deal from Preston North End in January, and has made just three substitute appearances in his time at the club so far.
It now looks as though his bizarre stint at the club will come to an end this summer, with Hammers insider site Claret and Hugh reporting that Hugill will be the first out the door this summer.
They claim that the striker will most definitely leave the London Stadium should the Hammers field a realistic bid for the 25-year-old, who has spent just four months in east London.
While there must be footballing reasons behind David Moyes’ decision to use Hugill so sparingly, this episode merely serves as another damning indictment of the Hammers board.
There was little reason behind the initial purchase of Hugill, with the club splashing out an unnecessary £10million on a player who always looked unlikely to make a first-team impact.
Hugill had netted just eight goals in 27 Championship appearances for Preston before his move, which is not exactly breathtaking form for a striker making the step up to the Premier League.
Exactly why the board then decided to panic and buy him is therefore unknown, but it just illustrates the confusion and lack of direction in the club’s recruitment policy.
Surely staying in-house and handing first-team chances to youngsters such as Toni Martinez would have been a better option for the Hammers in January?
Instead, a young player has been given false hope of a career in the Premier League while the club have wasted £10million and several months wages.
There needs to be sweeping changes in West Ham’s transfer policy this summer to avoid such shambolic episodes, or the club will continue to languish at the bottom of the top-flight.