Striker Sonny Perkins fires a wake-up call to West Ham boss David Moyes amid Spurs and Aston Villa interest.
Reports this week have claimed talented young Hammers striker Perkins is wanted by bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur as well as Steven Gerrard at Aston Villa and Leeds United.
Perkins rose to prominence with regular inclusion in the West Ham first team squad last season despite being just 17 at the time.
Originally a midfielder, Perkins has been switched to striker and shone for club and country, going on to establish himself as the number one forward for West Ham Under 23s and England Under 18s.
The Guardian and The Athletic have been reporting that West Ham could lose the England youth international with Aston Villa, Leeds United and even rivals Tottenham all vying for his signature this summer.
The news came as something of a shock to West Ham fans and had supporters of Tottenham, Villa and Leeds scrambling Google for information on the youngster.
The interest of the likes of Spurs, Villa and Leeds was confirmed by West Ham insiders speaking exclusively to Claret and Hugh.
According to C&H Perkins has a year left on his current deal and West Ham have offered him a new contract.
But his agent is reportedly pushing for huge wages at West Ham with the Waltham Forest-born player yet to sign a new Hammers contract.
The Guardian and journalist Fabrizio Romano claim that Leeds, as well as Aston Villa, have opened talks with the West Ham youngster’s representatives over a move.
Most worrying for West Ham fans, though, is the reported interest from Spurs – a club they would be loathe to lose one of their brightest young talents to.
Perkins was sensational for the West Ham Under 23s this season, scoring 14 goals and laying on two assists in 28 games for the youth team (Transfermarkt).
But despite the poor performances of Michail Antonio for much of the second half of the campaign and David Moyes’s lack of options, Perkins was barely used despite a couple of promising cameos – memorably almost scoring with a header in the Europa League during a 2-0 win at Rapid Wien.
That night Perkins became the second-youngest player – at 17 years and 288 days – to make an appearance for West Ham in a major European competition after Bobby Barnes (17y & 275d) against Real Madrid Castilla in the Cup Winners’ Cup back in September 1980.
But it seems the contract impasse is a very real threat to his West Ham future.
And last night saw striker Perkins fire a timely wake-up call to West Ham boss Moyes amid the Spurs, Leeds and Aston Villa interest.
Because the West Ham youngster found the net yet again for England U18s in their 2-0 win over Wales in the latest round of international fixtures.
The 2021/22 Dylan Tombides Young Hammer of the Year Award winner scored a sensationally well taken goal in the four nations tournament win over Wales.
Perkins expertly controlled a pass 10 minutes from time before finding the net via the post to put the seal on victory for the Young Lions.
It was a timely wake-up call for West Ham and Moyes over the future of Perkins.
Moyes has said he wants to build his West Ham team around young, talented hungry players.
That is not to say the Scot uses players before he feels they are ready.
If Perkins feels he has more chance of progressing into the first team at one of the clubs allegedly interested then that is a damning indictment on West Ham.
If it is just about money then the player is clearly being poorly represented.
But as is the case across football, when a player is coveted it only serves to add extra pound signs to deals and contracts.
So if Perkins has the right work ethic and attitude then perhaps West Ham and Moyes will have to bite the bullet and meet his demands if they want to keep him out of the clutches of rival clubs such as Tottenham and Villa.