Jordan Hugill excelled for Preston, but it’s fair to say life away from Deepdale has been difficult for him.
The 26-year-old, picked up for an absolute bargain from Port Vale in 2014, worked his way into being a Deepdale favourite. His record was just seven goals in his first 38 games, but that changed quickly. In his final 76 games for North End, Hugill racked up 23 goals.
After snubbing Ipswich’s interest in January 2017, Preston did sell in January 2018. West Ham United came in with a huge £9m (LEP) deal on deadline day, which North End simply couldn’t reject.
Despite becoming important at North End, few were backing Hugill for Premier League success. With just 22 minutes of playing time for West Ham last season, his move to East London looked more and more bizarre.
Hugill did earn a dream move to boyhood club Middlesbrough over the summer though, penning a season-long long deal. Playing under Tony Pulis and for the team he supports, this all seemed to suit Hugill perfectly.
He hasn’t quite hit the heights expected of him though. With six goals and two assists in 31 games for Boro, his record isn’t great, and he’s been regularly slammed by fans – especially for diving.
Now, The Northern Echo report that West Ham will make Hugill available this summer, but have told Boro to pay up £10million to sign him permanently.
That seems very unlikely right now, and any lingering idea of him returning to Preston can now be ruled out too. Some fans may have wanted him back last summer, but there’s no need for him at this point. Jayden Stockley now holds the target man role under Alex Neil, and with Seani Maguire and Louis Moult also at the club, there’s simply no need or room for Hugill at Deepdale.