How West Ham’s Loaned Out Players Will Get on When They Return to East London – Ranked

There have been plenty of problems on the pitch for West Ham this season, but their loan army can’t be blamed. 

As hard as Karen Brady searches for scapegoats, she’d be hard pressed to use any of this lot for the precarious position the club finds itself in.

West Ham has in the past been labelled the ‘academy of football’, and some of the youngsters in this list will be hoping to be added to the hall of fame, and they may get there a lot sooner if the Hammers find themselves in the Championship next season.

With that in mind, lets take a look at the 11 players currently out on loan away from east London, and assess whether David Moyes may have been better off just fielding the lot of them, or whether they’re still not good enough for one of the worst teams in the Premier League.

11. Roberto Jimenez

Roberto Jiménez Gago

We’ll start in goal.

Roberto Jimenez is a perennial back-up keeper in most respects, certainly at the highest level anyway. Looking at his career, there was a five-year patch where he was playing regularly for Zaragoza and Olympiacos, but on either side he’s had nothing more than the odd run out here and there.

Signed last summer to provide extra competition for Lukasz Fabianski and Darren Randolph, after not appearing in ​La Liga for over a season at Espanyol, Roberto was handed his chance from the bench when Fabianski injured his hip back in September. 

By the end of November, 34-year-old David Martin was preferred after the Spanish stopper made several high-profile mistakes. He was shipped of to Alaves on loan in January and hadn’t made a single appearance at the time of La Liga’s suspension. How inspiring.

Although the threat of relegation could provide Roberto with a slim chance of a comeback, Darren Randolph is a top quality ​Championship goalkeeper, and even if he decides to have one last crack at the top flight, the aforementioned David Martin would be the far more popular choice.

Likelihood of Making it at West Ham: 0/10

10. Dan Kemp

Dan Kemp

A midfielder who was sent off to Stevenage in January, there’s nothing to suggest that Dan Kemp has the ability to make it at ​West Ham. Not a single appearance for the first team, and not exactly lighting up League Two, Kemp won’t be high on the list of players to reinforce the Hammers midfield, regardless of which division they find themselves in next season.

Bearing in mind he’s 21 years old and only just made his professional debut, it’s clear to see that Kemp would be best off trying to make his loan deal permanent. After all, he wasn’t even deemed good enough for ​Chelsea to send out on loan when he was in their set up…

Likelihood of Making it at West Ham: 1/10

9. Connor Coventry

Conor Coventry,Lee O'Connor,Moise Kean

One step up from Kemp, but not a major one, Connor Coventry (number 6 in above pic) is currently plying his trade on loan at Lincoln City in League One. Coventry has at least made two EFL Cup appearances for West Ham, but that may be as good as things get for the lad.

Coventry was getting his first taste of regular senior football at Lincoln before football was suspended, and if the Irons are relegated then he may be knocking on the door of whichever unfortunate soul inhabits the manager’s office, having just signed a new contract before leaving the London Stadium in January. 

Unfortunately, relegation may be his only chance, as the pressure may be too great to blood a youngster into the current set up. Regardless, Coventry could one day make a very useful Championship player, but he’ll have to work a bit harder if he wants to follow in the footsteps of Mark Noble.

Likelihood of Making it at West Ham: 3/10

8. Nathan Holland

Nathan Holland

Holland made two league appearances for West Ham earlier this season and was sent to Oxford United to gain some first-team experience in January. He was doing quite well too, until he was ruled out for the remainder of the (regular) season with a hamstring injury.

Holland is a competent midfielder who’s next move also depends on which league his parent club find themselves in next season. He could be called into the first team as a squad player if West Ham are relegated, or if they survive it would be no surprise to see him shipped out on loan again, but at 21 years old, just how much longer can he wait around for a proper opportunity to impress?

Likelihood of Making it at West Ham: 3/10

7. Nathan Trott

Nathan Trott

Nathan Trott has spent the season on loan at AFC Wimbledon, and fairly soon after he joined he was included in the England Under-21 squad for the first time. Born in Bermuda, he spent part of his youth career at Valencia’s prestigious academy and he was given the number one shirt upon his arrival at Wimbledon.

Everything looks good for Trott on paper but, after 23 games between the sticks, Wimbledon found themselves in a relegation dogfight and signed Joe Day on loan from ​Cardiff.

That about sums up Trott’s position, he has the potential and, like almost everyone else on this list, could force himself into contention should the Hammers find themselves relegated next season, but like Roberto, with Randolph and Martin on the books, it’s highly unlikely the club would take a chance on Trott to be the last line of defence in a season of rebuilding.

Likelihood of Making it at West Ham: 3/10

6. Josh Cullen

Josh Cullen

Cullen has been quietly improving his stock over the last few years, getting better and better as the seasons progress. He’s spent the last two on loan at Charlton, where he was one of the Addicks’ star men as they won promotion from League One last time out, and has continued to impress in the Championship.

Cullen is 23 and although he’s never likely to become anything more than a Football League player, if West Ham find themselves in the Championship, they have a ready-made Championship-quality midfielder to bolster their ranks, allowing them to recruit better in other areas. He may have to look for another club should they survive though.

Likelihood of Making it at West Ham: 5/10

5. Winston Reid

Winston Reid

A familiar name to many fans of English football, New Zealand international Winston Reid is the only winner of the Hammer of the Year award on the list (at the time of writing anyway). A fans’ favourite and once a very highly-rated central defender, Reid hasn’t made a single competitive appearance for the club since 3 March 2018 after a knee ligament injury ruled him out for 16 months.

He made his return to the first team on the substitutes bench in December, but was sent to the ​MLS on Valentine’s Day to join Sporting Kansas City until the end of the season in a bid to regain fitness. Then football stopped due to Coronavirus before he stepped onto a pitch.

Reid would still have a future at West Ham if his injury hasn’t affected his ability too much. Pace was a big part of his game and if he’s lost any it’ll be a struggle, but if the Irons are relegated, it wouldn’t be a major shock to see him back where he belongs at the heart of the defence. 

That being said, after such a major injury, a new start somewhere else may be just what the doctor ordered.

Likelihood of Making it at West Ham: 6/10

4. Saed Haksabanovic

Sead Haksabanovic

A man with more letters in his name than first-team appearances, Said Haksabanovic is actually a very handy player. 

A full Montenegrin international, Haksabanovic has spent the majority of his career thus far in Sweden, playing 110 games at Halmstads where he started his career, and Norrkoping where he spent last season on loan, and will spend the 2020 Allsvenskan campaign.

At 20 years old, Haksabanovic has impressive statistics behind him, and should prove to be worth the £2.7m the club paid to bring him to the London Stadium. Should the Hammers suffer relegation, his two-year loan to Norrkoping could be cut short and give him a chance to show what he’s made of in the first team.

Even if not, it won’t be long before we see the Swedish born number ten in claret and blue on a more permanent basis.

Likelihood of Making it at West Ham: 7/10

3. Aji Alese

Paulo Oliveira,Aji Alese

Aji Alese has all the attributes to make it. He’s a towering 6’4 centre-half who’s strong as a bull and dominant in the air, as any Accrington Stanley fan will tell you. He’s still raw and working his way into first team football, but he’s definitely one to watch.

At 19, even if West Ham get relegated it wouldn’t be a surprise if he was shipped out on loan again next season, but as far as his long-term future goes, the only way he won’t make it at West Ham would be if the interest from ​Man City and ​Liverpool materialises.

Likelihood of Making it at West Ham: 7/10

2. Jordan Hugill

Jordan Hugill

This one depends entirely on the Hammers losing their ​Premier League status, but should that happen it really could be the making of Hugill in claret and blue. The Englishman is a natural Championship striker, he causes countless problems for opposition defences with his strength and he knows where the goal is.

He’s proven it with ​Preston, and subsequently with loan moves to ​Middlesbrough and QPR, and while he’ll probably never repay the £10m the club paid for him on deadline day in January 2018, he could very well spearhead West Ham back to the Premier League at first time of asking, should that be the job that’s required.

Hugill is a definite member of the group of players that are too good for the Championship but not good enough for the Premier League, and though that could become an advantage, if Moyes manages to keep the club up, he could do worse than swap Hugill for his ​QPR teammate Eberechi Eze.

Likelihood of Making it at West Ham: 7/10

1. Grady Diangana

Grady Diangana

Now for a future star; Grady Diangana could feel unlucky for being sent out on loan this season after playing well for West Ham last year, but he’s been one of the best players in the Championship this campaign.

He scored three goals in his first four matches for ​West Brom and hasn’t looked back. A gifted right-winger, he has all the attributes to become a regular for West Ham whatever league they find themselves in, and would undoubtedly given a better account for himself than most of the Hammers that have taken to the field this season.

Diangana certainly has a future at West Ham, though, unlike the rest of this list, his breakthrough may depend on the club remaining in the Premier League as there will no doubt be plenty of suitors calling should his heart desire a crack at the top flight next year.

Likelihood of Making it at West Ham: 9/10