Many West Ham fans will be singing Darren Gough’s praise as he appears to be rooting for them to beat Valencia to the services of Celta Vigo attacker Maxi Gomez.
The Guardian reported on Monday that the Hammers had agreed to pay a club-record fee of €50m (£44.5m) for the 22-year-old forward and that they were now battling to convince him to snub Champions League football at Valencia by joining them instead.
Max Rushden asked Gough directly about this report and asked if it was him, would he snub Champions League football and join West Ham ahead of Valencia.
The retired cricketer replied to imply that he would pick the Hammers as he suggested there was something about them.
“I like West Ham…there’s something about them, yea, something about them,” said Gough on talkSPORT (18:56, Monday, July 8th).
“I trained with them a couple of times when I played for Essex as we used to go train there every day.
“And I’ve played at the old ground which they still wish was their ground.
“If he’s listening (Rushden asked if Gough picking West Ham over Valencia) yeah.”
While Gough is clearly joking that Gomez could be swayed by his remarks, as even if he was listening that seems unlikely, that won’t stop Hammers fans loving his remarks.
This is because it would be a big deal if the 22-year-old turned down Champions League football to join the Hammers.
The prestigious tournament sees the best-of-the-best European clubs clash and it’s a huge honour and a testament of a player’s ability if they get to feature in the tournament.
The Hammers don’t currently feature in the Champions League and they didn’t even qualify for the Europa League in their latest season as they finished 10th.
While Manuel Pellegrini’s will likely be aiming to finish sixth in the league in the upcoming season, which would see them qualify for the 2020/21 Europa League tournament, there’s no guarantee they will succeed.
So it’d be a bold leap of faith for Gomez to ignore the prospect of Champions League football in favour of the Hammers.
The other reason why many West Ham fans will lap up Gough’s remarks, is they are no doubt just happy that another pundit is backing them to get Gomez as Pellegrini side would benefit from him.
The 22-year-old scored an impressive 13 goals, while assisting five, in his 35 La Liga appearances in his latest season and average an impressive 2.3 shots per game. (Source: WhoScored)
So it’s fair to say Hammers fans will love these remarks by Gough as it hints they have a chance.