Leeds United should revive their interest in West Ham’s Jordan Hugill in the January transfer window after it was reported that the Premier League club is plotting an exit for the striker.
Hugill, 27, has been in superb form while on loan at QPR this season, scoring six goals in 11 appearances across all competition to rank him among the top goalscorers in the Championship.
It would seem as though West Ham are prepared to use the centre-forward’s form in a bid to cut their losses on him in January as well with the London side reportedly ready to sell him for £5million.
According to Football Insider, Hugill is surplus to requirements at the London Stadium and Hammers chiefs are prepared to sell the striker for 50 per cent of the £10million fee they dished out to Preston when they signed him in January 2018.
Hugill’s form at Loftus Road is likely to attract attention from other clubs in the Championship but it is understood that his wages could cause an issue for potential buyers.
The Scottish Sun has reported that Hugill earns £40,000-a-week on his deal, but that should not deter Leeds from trying to revive their interest in one of the second tier’s most prolific forwards.
Leeds and West Brom were reportedly eyeing up Hugill in the summer before his eventual switch to QPR, according to the Daily Star.
Now we are at the second international break of the campaign, Leeds are fifth in the standings and look as though they are going to have yet another stab at promotion under the charge of Marcelo Bielsa.
However one issue about Leeds’ start to the season is their lack of goals.
In 11 Championship matches, the Whites have scored just 15 times. Six fewer than league leaders West Brom, eight fewer than top scorers Preston and an equal number to that of 18th-placed Luton Town.
Patrick Bamford has started every match up front for Leeds this season but the ex-Chelsea striker has managed to score just four times in 11 league appearances and it may be time for Bielsa to find some extra firepower when the January window opens.
According to stats by WhoScored, goals scored is not the only area where Hugill has bettered Bamford this season.
Leeds’ number nine may have fired more shots at goal per league match [3.3] than Hugill [2.7], but that is not necessarily a good thing when the unwanted West Ham striker has scored more goals in fewer minutes on the pitch.
Hugill has also averaged more dribbles per match than Bamford while also being offside less often, being dispossessed less often and winning more fouls.
Hugill’s all-round play for a striker has been way better than Bamford’s, so signing the reportedly available striker from West Ham in January may be a worthwhile option for Bielsa.
If he does not sign him to add him straight into the starting line-up then at least adding Hugill might be the thing that Bamford needs to motivate him to do better. Competition is never really a bad thing.