In our second installment of Transfer Rumor of the Day, we investigate Newcastle's latest bid in the neighborhood of £4m, West Ham center defender James Tomkins. To my eye, this one is a little bit more complicated due to the involvement of former Newcastle manager Sam Allardyce on the West Ham end. Perhaps I'm reading too much into that particular situation, but it seems that he'd be particularly loathe to sell to Newcastle... particularly a West Ham Academy product that has represented England at every level from the U-15s up. We did table a £2.5m bid in mid-December that was laughed off the table, so we may have some resilience in the chase... he is young but he does have over 50 Premier League appearances for West Ham already. Granted, not all of those are starts, but he may have more experience than your average 21-year-old. Let's look at his player card after the jump.
Name: James Tomkins
Position: Center Back/Right Back
Age: 21 (22 in March)
Height: 6'3" (approx)
Professional Debut: March 22, 2008 v. Everton
- James is primarily a center back, although he has the capability to play on the right as well. I should think with recent news that Danny Simpson's contract negotiations are moving toward conclusion, this is a moot fact. It would be nice to have the potential added depth behind Simmo on the right, however. I don't think that there are going to be too many proponents of Perch on the right... and we're finding that Santon is more than capable on the right and that Raylor may be ready to retake his natural position on the right of midfield.
- There is word that James Tomkins is advised by the same group that advise the former number 9 shirt, and the quest for a transfer is taking on eerily similar qualities with Tomkins now having handed in a transfer request with two bids from Newcastle having been rejected. Surely it's purely coincidence though, right?
- James is out of contract in 2013, but word is West Ham are extending an offer of 5 years on £25,000 per week. It doesn't look like the offer has moved the metaphorical needle, however, and it seems the player is still efforting to leave West Ham.
- West Ham's defense are joint-best in the Championship conceding 23 times in 25 matches... James has been ever-present in the heart of that defense.
- Transfermarkt.com puts a £3.8m pricetag on Mr. Tomkins.
- So far as where he fits in potentially in our squad... if I have to explain that, then um.... So anyway, we're looking at a very young, moderately experienced solid center back, a position at which we have no depth. Looks like a no-brainer to me. Did I mention that he has scored against the scum?
- Potential monkey-wrench in the works: Tottenham have registered interest recently
Probability of Transfer: 80/20
Probability of Transfer to US: 40/60 - feeling pessimistic today