Former Sunderland striker Kevin Phillips has claimed that West Ham could terminate centre back Craig Dawson’s loan deal from Watford in the January transfer window.
Dawson joined the Hammers on a season-long loan deal back in the summer transfer window, in a move which reportedly gives the Premier League side the option to buy the defender for £2million at the end of this season.
Since then however, things have not exactly gone to plan for Dawson, with the 30-year-old yet to make a single appearance for David Moyes’ side, and it seems Phillips has been left baffled by the deal.
Speaking to Football Insider about Dawson’s situation at the London Stadium, the ex-England international said: “It is a strange situation. I thought it was a strange transfer when he first went there to be honest.
“To have not been involved at all in the Premier League speaks volumes. It might be one of those that just hasn’t quite worked out.”
Discussing why things might have played out as they have, and the potential ramifications of that moving forward, Phillips went on to add: “David Moyes might have seen something he has not liked on the training ground and the loan deal will then be cut short in January. We might see Dawson somewhere else next year.
“It is a very strange situation and I do not know what has happened there.”
Dawson only joined Watford from West Brom in the summer of 2019, and made 31 appearances for the Hornets during his debut season with the club, as they suffered relegation from the Premier League.
As things stand, there are still two-and-half years remaining on Dawson’s contract with Watford, securing his future at Vicarage Road until the end of the 2022/23 season.
What Phillips is suggesting here does seem to make sense.
Given how things have played out so far, you can’t see West Ham wanting to keep paying Dawson for as long as they have to, if it looks unlikely that they are going to use him at all, so you can understand why they might want to send him back to Watford in January.
You also feel Dawson himself might be open to that, given he is not going to want to remain at West Ham if he is not going to be playing any first-team football any time soon.
This could however, create something of an issue for Watford if it happens, given the return of Dawson would add an extra, likely significant, burden to their wage budget, potentially impacting the business they could do elsewhere in the market come January.