With Hull City’s Robert Snodgrass looking poised to join West Ham after the two clubs agreed a £10million fee, it is interesting to compare the Scottish international with a player who he may be replacing in Dimitri Payet. Both are 29, both are excellent free kick takers and have excellent crossing ability, yet it is pretty clear which one of the two is able to excite fans with his flair and skill.
Unlike Payet, Snodgrass is not somebody you would describe as elegant on the ball, or has the ability to dribble and run around five or six players, yet his ability to create is undoubted, and if we compare the two in terms of their form this season, you can see that the Scottish international is just ahead of the Frenchman in terms goals scored and created.
In total, Snodgrass has scored nine and assisted four (13) while Payet has scored three and assisted eight (11). Despite playing in a Hull side that has struggled to score goals, the winger has managed to stand out as one of the best players playing in the lower half of the Premier League.
He was sidelined for a year with a cruciate knee ligament injury, but despite missing half of last year’s run towards promotion in the Championship, Snodgrass returned to the fold in December 2015 as though he hadn’t been away. He scored four and created six more goals as Hull made a swift return to the Premier League through the play-offs.
The Scot is certainly not a long term solution, but with Payet out of the picture, his deadly delivery from set pieces, and his ability to score from dead ball situations could compensate in areas of the pitch where Payet’s absence could have been keenly felt in the months ahead.
For this season, and the next two or three, Snodgrass could provide a very important short term fix for manager Slaven Bilic. He isn’t particularly quick, and even though he prefers playing on the right side, he is quite one footed on his left so Hammers fans should get used to him cutting inside and crossing in-swingers into Andy Carroll rather than bursting down the flanks to whip balls in from the byline.
His delivery into the box, both from open play and set pieces, is up there with the best in the league, and even though £10million may seem a bit steep considering he is just on the right side of 30, the goals he will score and create in the next few years could prove the difference between winning and losing some games.
Payet is highly unlikely to play for the Hammers again, and it would be a huge surprise if he doesn’t leave before the end of the month. With that in mind the Hammers have certainly done well, if they can finalise the deal, to pick a player whose attributes could compensate for his loss and make the club a tidy profit at the same time if the Frenchman departs close to West Ham’s asking price.