Some you win and some you lose, the hard facts of life when it comes to transfer targets.
When it became apparent that Swansea City were looking, following their relegation from the Premier League last May, to sell Alfie Mawson, West Ham United were one of several Premier League clubs linked with the acquisition of the 24-year-old defender who was an ever-present in the Swansea side last season.
Our apparent interest genuinely excited me, Mawson, despite playing in a struggling side, showed enough class to earn an England call-up from Gareth Southgate. My belief was that placed alongside the right central defensive partner and playing in a side of a better quality than Swansea, Mawson would progress to be one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League.
Unfortunately, West Ham weren’t successful in acquiring the player with the BBC, confirming that the player has opted to move to a London club but one that plays in West London, Fulham.
But, reading the aforementioned linked article, I couldn’t help but notice that Mawson used the following line in explaining his reasons to join a club that, after a period in the Championship, regained its top-flight status last May,
“I’m excited by the project going on here and I can’t wait to get going.”
It’s an interesting comment and it would appear that those who deal with such situations, at Fulham, did a splendid job in convincing Mawson that Craven Cottage was the place to be.
But, and here’s where my mind kicks into overdrive, if Mawson was excited by the project going on at Fulham he’d be absolutely stunned with the transformation our fine club is going through at the moment.
Now whether anybody at West Ham actually got to speak to Mawson or not, or indeed whether our interest never got past the media speculation stage, only a select few will know.
But it is a great case of how transfer speculation can toy with your mind even though you’re never sure whether it has solid foundations or not, I guess that’s the magic of this time of the year.