West Ham ITK site Claret and Hugh have confirmed that one of the most promising prospects in the Academy of Football will walk in June after declining the Irons offers.
Leave it to West Ham to conjure up a ridiculously negative story amidst a near-global football shutdown. With more and more academy players looking the part, Jeremy Ngakia had a surprise trip to Premier League starter, and now he’s leaving the club.
Of course, this is all conjecture but credible ITK site Claret and Hugh have reported the Ngakia has refused multiple offers from West Ham and intends to walk away from the club on June 30th when his contract expires. These messages were relayed through his agent.
This smells incredibly like the Reece Oxford situation, with Oxford holding out for a Premier League level deal, getting it after very minimal playing time, and dropping off the face of the earth. This could be a negotiation tactic by Ngakia, but the board is surely gunshy after the Oxford debacle in recent years.
For context, Ngakia is just 19-years-old and has played in just four Premier League matches, two against Liverpool, one against Southampton, and one against Arsenal. While he’s looked better than expected for a fourth-string option, it’s crazy to walk away from the club that gave you the opportunity and was ready to invest in you with just four games under your belt.
That is unless an agent has spoiled the prospect. This again was the case with Oxford and could be a massive red flag and scare the board away from making the same mistake again.
ExWHUemplyee confirmed in early May that Ngakia had rejected the first offer from the club and has now confirmed that Ngakia will leave “unless the club come back with a new deal.” If this is the case, I would back the board walking away from the player.
It isn’t often you can claim the Hammers’ board has a backbone, but allowing a four-game, 19-year-old player to hold the club hostage by threatening to leave is not good PR and makes the club look weak. It sets a bad precedent for future contracts and the loss of a promising player isn’t worth the headache down the road.
The silver lining to all of this is that Ryan Fredericks is fit, Pablo Zabaleta is still under contract until the end of June, and Ben Johnson is available to fill in if need be. West Ham are set without Ngakia for the rest of the season and shouldn’t let his pressure tactics derail their future plans.