Mubama must not let agent lead him into oblivion


Blind Hammer looks at the record of young prospects enticed away.

The news that young Divin Mubama has, apparently, listened to advice, and is currently refusing to sign a new contract, sadly threatens yet another bright young Hammer’s career.

Many of West Ham recent brightest prospects have succumbed to inducements to leave the Hammers and pursue their careers elsewhere. However, you really have to wonder if this agent interest in getting a bite of the pie is really serving young Hammers well.

The result in most cases is that careers have either stalled or nosedived.  Agents love a transfer, with associated bonuses for facilitating moves and transfers. I fear that this financial motivation is a potential conflict of interest for young players. They, and their representative, may get a certain small windfall, but sacrifice a larger prospect of a career with West Ham.

Divin Mubama-West Ham-Conference League

Divin Mubama

Just compare the careers of Reece Oxford and Declain Rice. There was a time that Oxford was considered a brighter prospect yet the noise around him and his contracts and possible moves away  grew deafening at times.

It is hard not to conclude that Oxford’s career never achieved the heights once promised, and it was the opinion of many that he was distracted by constant money talk. Just compare that to the rise of Declan Rice.

The former captain is represented by his family, and whilst we may not be overjoyed about the way they engineered a move to Arsenal, it is clear that they have never had any interest but the footballing success of their young relative. Financial rewards have eventually come but first and foremost  the Rice camp has been interested in his growing stature as a West Ham player and not short-term fast bucks by artificially engineered moves.

Young Divin Mubama needs to ensure he is not led off a cliff into oblivion. Not too long-ago West Ham had another young hotshot who was considered hot property. Sonny Perkins was the name on everybody’s lips with talk, like with Mubama of his fast tracking into the first team.  Instead he joined Leeds and is certainly not considered hot property now.
Not only did he walk into a struggling club facing relegation, but he failed, not surprisingly, to make any progress in this environment, which would be difficult for any young player. Perkins made no appearances for Leeds in the Premiership.

He has made only one Championship appearance and  been  shipped out to a Legue 1 outfit in the shape of Oxford United. Sadly, Perkins’ career at even this lower level has failed to take hold, and he has only made 2 appearances. Astonishingly Perkins’ solitary first team appearance for West Ham still accounts for 25% of all his league appearances. Perkins must wonder what if he had accepted West Ham’s offer to develop his game at the London Stadium.

Perkins is only one of the failed attempts to achieve brighter lights than West Ham. Harrison Ashby was a full back on the verge of breaking into the West Ham team who was likewise seduced away to the bright lights of Champions League chasing Newcastle United. Yet Ashby, unlike at West Ham, has not had a sniff of European action.

Instead, he also, has been shipped out to a season long loan at Swansea City. More ominously for Ashby is the realisation that far from being on the verge of breaking into the first team, as he was at West Ham, he faces not just the challenge of dislodging Newcastle’s first choice full backs, but the 5 reserve full backs who help Newcastle humiliate Manchester United in the League Cup

They are all ahead of Ashby in the pecking order, and all received rave reviews for their performance. Ashby faces the daunting task of dislodging all of them to break into the first team

Now does Ashby,  plying his trade at Swansea, really think his prospect of a PL breakthrough is nearer than it would have been at West Ham? If playing on loan for Swansea was in his development path this could clearly have been managed at West Ham.

Be careful Divin, be very careful of what you wish for.

David Griffith

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My Father, born in 1891 was brought up in the shadows of the Thames Ironworks Memorial Ground. I remember as a child jumping over the settee when Alan Sealy scored in our 1965 European Cup Winners triumph.

My first game was against Leicester in 1968, when Martin Peters scored what was adjudged by ITV’s Big Match as the Goal of the Season.

I became a season ticket holder in 1970.

I was registered blind in 1986 and thought my West Ham supporting days were over. However in 2010 I learnt about the fantastic support West Ham offer to Blind and other Disabled Supporters. I now use the Insightful Irons in-stadium commentary service and West Ham provide space for my Guide Dog Nyle.

I sit on the West Ham Disabled Supporters Board and the LLDC Built Environment Access Panel.

David Griffith aka Blind Hammer


  • Good Old Daze says:

    Good thoughtful article, as usual, David. In my opinion this season, with the exception of the recent Arsenal game, we’ve not looked any near secure enough at the 65-70 min mark to bring on a development player to gain valuable game time. That said, I’d bring on Mubama any day of the week instead of Danny Ings. I also think Cornet needs game time as I still think he could be an asset. COYI.

  • hammerpete6 says:

    Yes another great post by David and very relevant. Yet again, I feel Moyes generates the unrest however with his reluctance to give any game time to young players. I really believe that Mubama would have been a better sub option than Ings on several occasions. It is the perception of no path to the first team that fuels the unrest I’m sure.

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