West Ham United had a bid of £25 million turned down by Bournemouth for striker Callum Wilson and attacking midfielder Matt Ritchie, according to Sky Sports. The Hammers are reportedly not interested in making a follow-up offer after being told that neither player is for sale.
David Sullivan had suggested that the club was to make a number of attempts to lure 'top players' this summer, but this dubious bid is a worrying sign for Hammers fans.
With all due to respect to Wilson and Ritchie, who each had fine seasons for the Cherries, the level of player that West Ham should be looking at far exceeds their abilities.
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Wilson scored five times in just seven games this season, before falling foul to a serious injury, but he really is not an upgrade of any kind over the forwards already in West Ham's squad. The same could be said for Ritchie, who had a solid season netting four times from midfield, but where would he fit in?
West Ham look set along the three attacking midfield spots, with Dimitri Payet, Manuel Lanzini, and Michail Antonio, and Ritchie is certainly not better than any of these three players.
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Both men would simply be backups in a squad that is looking towards bigger and better things, and it is concerning that the club are willing to spend so much money on these type of players.
Having been associated with names like Michy Batshuayi and Alexandre Lacazette, it is slightly underwhelming to think that Wilson and Ritchie could be joining instead. Neither man should demand even a £10 million sum, and it is ridiculous that an offer of £25 million would go in for the pair of them, and even more mind-boggling that it was turned down.
British Transfer Fees
This story really summates the problem in English football of homegrown players having extortionate prices on their heads that do not match up to their abilities in any way, shape or form. To further stress this point, West Ham paid a little over £10 million for Payet, who is nothing short of world class.
To suggest that Wilson or Ritchie are anywhere near as good as Payet would be simply outrageous, yet for some reason, a team would be expected to pay more than £25 million for the pair of them. So if we work that out to at least £12.5 million each, it shows the bizarre nature of the market for British players.
There is no world in which either Ritchie or Wilson should cost more than Payet or even Lanzini, West Ham's other midfield playmaker, who is costing them less than £10 million.
Going back to the concerns for West Ham fans, the ambition that the club says it has is not matched by this rather strange bid. They should not be looking to add players from a struggling Premier League club that are, to be frank, not likely to start many games if any at all.
West Ham are looking to use their new stadium as a platform to becoming a top club in Europe, and players like Wilson and Ritchie are not cut out for that level of football. One would hope that the owners and manager will have some more high profile and higher quality targets in mind as the summer unfolds.
One would hope that the owners and manager will have some more high profile and higher quality targets in mind as the summer unfolds.
Why do British footballers come with hefty price tags on their heads? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!
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