Jordan Hugill appears to have no future at West Ham United. Could his next move be back to Preston?
That’s what West Ham insider ExWHUEmployee is claiming. In a recent episode of The West Ham Way podcast, the notable Hammers inside claimed North End want Hugill back at Deepdale.
He claims that Blackburn and Charlton Athletic are also interested in Hugill, who will be offloaded this summer. It was stated that West Ham would take a major hit on Hugill, looking for around £3million.
That still seems way beyond North End, with Hugill valued at twice our record transfer. However, we have to talk about the possibility of Hugill making a shock return to Deepdale.
North End signed Hugill for just £25,000 in 2014, plucking him from Port Vale. After 30 goals in 114 games, Hugill earned a big-money move to West Ham in January 2018, handing Preston a staggering profit.
Hugill’s story was remarkable. From non-league football in the North East whilst serving as barman to featuring in the Glenn Hoddle Academy and at Jerez Industrial in Spain, Hugill’s path to the top flight is one few will ever go through again.
Sadly, his time in the Premier League looks to be coming to an abrupt end, having barely featured for West Ham. Last term, Hugill spent the season on loan with boyhood club Middlesbrough, scoring just six goals.
The idea of Hugill returning will divide opinion, just as he did in his first spell. He wasn’t exactly full of goals at Middlesbrough, he’s technically limited and the cost of a return may be huge.
The flip side of the argument is that Alex Neil loved Hugill, and he knows the system perfectly. He’s 27, meaning he fits the bill as an ‘experienced’ signing with plenty left in the tank.
Hugill isn’t that similar to Jayden Stockley either, despite fans feeling Hugill would be a pointless signing. Stockley is a real threat in the air, but Hugill was never really that player. He was a hard-working battering ram, capable of running the channels, which Stockley may not have the mobility for.
There’s certainly room for both, and we shouldn’t turn our noses up because he left. The reality is that we’re a mid-table Championship club, begrudging anyone a move to the Premier League would be incredibly harsh.
North End need a striker, and Hugill needs a home. If a deal can be done without breaking the bank, Neil and co should explore the possibility. Hugill’s best football came with North End, and he should be interested in a return to Deepdale – for the good of his career.