With the turn of the New Year, it obviously means that the January transfer window is now wide open but much like the summer, it appears that West Ham United and manager David Moyes are again taking their time, but it is now being claimed that Glasgow Rangers are chasing full back Ben Johnson.
The first half of the 2023/24 campaign has not been too bad and although third round FA Cup commitments have interrupted our domestic Premier League winter break, we entered it sat quite comfortably in sixth place in the top flight table with ten wins and four draws from our opening twenty matches and Cheeky’s guide to the best online bookies for betting on football may have given good advice on us starting this season this well.
Given the time of year though, there has obviously been a plethora of speculation on the rumour mill, and some of those links would definitely excite the fans if they were to come off, but in the last few days it seems to appear that we might be ramping up our plans now.
As of yet, there have been no fresh faces coming into the club, but we have now seen the departure of 23 year old Academy graduate Conor Coventry. After numerous loan spells for experience and further development, he has now completed an undisclosed permanent transfer to Charlton Athletic, and Ben Johnson is reportedly likely to be our next departure.
The 23 year old, ten capped England Under 21 international had been getting reasonable game time for his age in previous seasons, and as things stand, he has 67 starting appearances to his name in our shirt, with 26 substitute showings across all competitions.
Under the gaffer this year though, his game time has really dropped off and he only has two Premier League performances under his belt, with a further four matches coming in Cup competitions, but his more recent, actual performance levels, are a big topic of discussion amongst fans as he sadly does not appear to have lived up to his initial billing and he does not seem to be reaching the heights we thought his potential would.
In light of his over all game time, it is probably inevitable that he is being linked with a move away, but Scottish Premiership side Rangers are not the only side being linked as Championship side Leeds United are also being credited with having an interest.
It is fair to say that the links so far are not that strong really, but if a move is to ultimately happen then Johnson would certainly be looking at clubs with this sort of pedigree.
A move is even more likely to happen when you consider the fact that he will naturally leave the London Stadium this summer when his existing contract expires, and at least as things stand, there might be new contract offer on the table, but rumours suggest the player has already turned down our prior attempts to contract him up for longer – so it seems that he is adamant to move on for greater game time.
Therefore, from our perspective even any kind of nominal sell on fee, allied with a future sell on percentage clause, is absolutely in our best interests and given his Academy route status, it will be a decent boost on a Financial Fair Play angle – even if the sale fee is not exactly massive.
It will all help though, and if his current performance levels are definitely not impressing Moyes, then it is probably best for all parties that a deal is agreed long before his contract expires.
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