Scott Hogan was heavily linked with West Ham throughout the January transfer window and was expected to sign with the Premier League side before it slammed shut.
In spite of the interest from the Hammers, it was Aston Villa who acquired Scott Hogan for a fee in the region of £12m.
The story of Hogan is similar to that of England and Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy.
He was previously on Rochdale’s youth team books but failed to make the grade and was released into the wilderness of lower league football.
The former Brentford winger began to ply his trade in the lower leagues, alongside working in a chemical factory for 3 years. The youngster featured for Woodley Sports, Halifax Town, Mossley, Stockbridge Park Steels, Ashton United and Hyde before he returned to Rochdale while they were in League Two.
Hogan scored on his debut, won the Supporter’s Player of the Year award and gained automatic promotion all in his first full season at Rochdale.
However, this proved to be his last term at Rochdale as Brentford came knocking and took Hogan away. A knee injury disrupted Hogan’s start at Brentford, but in just 33 games, he scored an impressive 21 goals including superb 13 goals in an 18 match spell this season.
It is more than understandable why West Ham were keen on acquiring Hogan’s services, but the Hammers stalled negotiations, and by playing hardball with Brentford they ultimately missed out on their chance to sign the 24-year-old forward.
The deadline day move to Aston Villa would’ve certainly pleased Hogan because it was a quick, painless and easy option as he looks to help Aston Villa return to the Premier League at the first time of asking.
Steve Bruce expressed his regret at not signing Scott Hogan when he was playing for Rochdale. With Hogan’s pace, dynamic movement and lethal finishing, Bruce might be onto a winner.
The English forward made his debut for Aston Villa against Nottingham Forest in the 2-1 loss at the City Ground. Not the best start for the former Brentford man’s new team but an excellent debut on a personal level.
The pacey striker managed to cause plenty of problems for Nottingham Forest’s defence and was unlucky not to score. Were it not for some fantastic goalkeeping from Stephen Henderson; Hogan may have found the back of the net on his debut.
Since then, Hogan has failed to make a mark at Aston Villa and is still waiting to open up his goalscoring account for the team. He is also set to be sidelined for at least a month after picking up an ankle injury during Aston Villa’s game against Newcastle on Monday.
It remains to be seen whether he’ll be capable of adding value to the side in the long-run as his fine debut has proven to be a poor indicator of his ability.
However, he’ll be keen on hitting the ground running when he returns for the final months of the season.