Some bullets we've dodged

Updated: Aug 3

I know that all the talk is about takeover that looks like it's about to happen but following on from my article about players we forgot signed for us and the one about the top players we were linked with but didn't sign, let's talk about some other players we were linked with, never signed but this time in doing so, dodged a bullet.

Luís Boa Morte

Despite signing a new contract with Fulham in January 2005, Luís Boa Morte was still interested in a move up north and Graeme Souness had him as a transfer target in the summer. We brought back Nolberto Solano instead and Boa Morte only scored twice in four and a half years after leaving for West Ham United in January 2007 before seeing his contract cancelled in August 2011 following relegation. He eventually retired in 2013 after short spells at AE Larissa, Orlando Pirates and Chesterfield.

Luis Boa Morte

Modibo Maïga

Another player who we could've signed but didn't before they flopped at Upton Park, Modibo Maïga refused to train or play with his Sochaux teammates and handed in a transfer request when we were interested in the summer of 2011. A move didn't materialise that summer but we eventually agreed a £7,000,000 fee to sign him in the January window three months early. He underwent his medical around two and a half weeks before the window opened but failed. We eventually got Papiss Cissé from Freiburg and he scored thirteen goals in fourteen games in his first half season to fire us into Europe. Although he was unable to recapture that form, he was still better than Maïga, who netted just seven goals in fourty-five games for the Hammers before one goal in eight games on loan at Queens Park Rangers in the Championship in 2014. He did better on loan at Metz in 2014-15 (still not enough to prevent relegation though) but it must have been a relief for West Ham fans when he was finally shipped out to Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr by new manager Slaven Bilić in August 2015. His embarrassing spell in East London also served him right for his awful attitude when we were interested four years earlier. Whilst we dodged a bullet with Maïga, West Ham, in return, dodged a bullet that summer with Joselu (if you believed reports about their interest), who would go on to flop on Tyneside.

Modibo Maïga


Another Ligue 1 striker spotted by Graham Carr in 2011, we also agreed a £10,000,000 fee with Lille for the pacey Gervinho after signing Yohan Cabaye for £4,300,000 from the Ligue 1 champions. Like the failed move for Maïga, we subsequently signed a Senegalese striker that would turn out to be miles better in Demba Ba whilst Gervinho scored only eleven goals in sixty-three games in all competitions for Arsenal, having been sent off after a scrap with Joey Barton on his debut in a 0-0 opening day draw at St James' Park. Just imagine if we had him and Maïga instead of Ba and Cisse that season, we'd have probably been lucky to finish mid-table.