His name has been mentioned a lot in recent weeks, and we can now expect the conversation to continue.
West Ham United striker Jordan Hugill clearly has no future at the London Stadium. Since leaving Preston for East London, Hugill has played just 22 minutes of action for the Hammers.
Last season, he went out on loan to Middlesbrough, and most would say he disappointed with his boyhood club. Just six goals and two assists wasn’t exactly the return that many were hoping to see.
Just a week ago, we covered claims from West Ham insider ExWHUEmployee that Preston want Hugill back. Now, The Sun (20 June, page 49) claim that Hugill is ‘set’ for a move back to Deepdale this summer.
Details of a move are thin on the ground, which makes you wonder just how reliable this information is, but it’s no great surprise to see the rumours gathering pace.
North End do need a striker, and Alex Neil was a big fan of Hugill. He knows the system, he knows most of the squad, and he does offer something a little different to Jayden Stockley. They’re both big men, but operate a little differently, with Hugill having a little more pace to his game.
Hugill’s career hasn’t progressed since leaving Preston, and it would be little surprise if he wanted a move back to Deepdale. That’s where the best spell of his career has been, and at 27, he does fit the bill as a proven Championship player.
There are major concerns though, starting with finances. North End are in no position to sign Hugill permanently, even with West Ham willing to take a third of what they paid. Hugill’s wages jumped up when he moved too, and again, Preston aren’t able to pay a huge proportion of that.
Some are also worried that Hugill may not have the same drive or desire that made him a nuisance in his first spell. That he flopped at Boro under Tony Pulis is a major concern, and for all those reasons, a move for Hugill would really divide opinion.