Tony Hanna's Musings

When the bookmakers make a market on any event they are normally well informed and have done their homework. Well, that was certainly the case in years gone by when they were very profitable and had the money to hire teams of analysts and experts in most fields. Scouring data and using their contacts they were ahead of the field. With their profits being erased by smarter punters and competition in the modern era they now often just follow the exchanges like Betfair where most of the “smart money” is placed. Any punter placing a large bet on a market they (the bookmakers) are not on top of can cause chaos and often lead to customer bet restrictions. Such is the case with the bookies making their markets nowadays on football transfer betting. In a nutshell, they offer their odds on this market but the prices can take huge changes based on relatively small wagers compared to what they take on large markets like horse racing or the Premier League match results. The pool on any transfer market can be very small and a large bet is obviously not desirable in balancing their books.

However, as a starting point their prices do afford us a glimpse of what is more likely to happen than not in the football transfer market. So, with many names being linked to West Ham let’s have a look at how the bookies rate the chances of any of them happening. Some of you may not understand bookies odds so I will also translate the odds into the percentage chance of the transfer taking place. I have not included any player rated at 12/1 (7.69% chance) or worse. I have also not included Adama Traore as the bookies have suspended betting on this market. Read into that what you will but it generally means the deal is close but as we know, player transfers are rarely straight forward. This Traore by the way,( there are so many Traore’s and Dembeles), is the Middlesbrough player who had such a fine game against us at the Riverside last season. On the downside he has played in relegated sides two seasons running now, playing for Villa the season before last.

Aaron Cresswell and Robert Snodgrass Firstly, I will start with the two players they have priced up with the potential to leaving West Ham. The only deal they see as being realistic for Cressy is a move to Liverpool. On this one they make him 2/7 to stay at West Ham. That is around a 78% chance of staying. Snodgrass is 2/5 (71%) to stay at West Ham next season with quite a few clubs showing some interest.

Das Bost . Rated at 4/1 (20%) to join West Ham, he is favourite to stay at his current club Sporting CP and Newcastle are ahead of us if he does make any move. The Dutch forward, plying his trade in Portugal at present, has made 15 appearances for the Netherlands scoring one goal.

Bertrand Traore . The Chelsea forward looks nailed on to go to Lyon as that move is priced at 1/10 (90%) and the Hammers are at 10/1 (9%).

Chris Smalling Even money (50%) to stay at Moanchester United and we are the shortest price of any other club if he does move. Bookies price him at 11/4 (26%) to move to West Ham.

Jack Wilshere The bookies rate him 8/13 (62%) to stay at Arsenal although that does include him being loaned out and not actually being transferred from Arsenal. West Ham are just 2/1 (33%) to sign the midfielder. It would not be surprising to see us move in with a loan deal for the former England International.

Joe Hart West Ham lead a huge posse of clubs that may be interested in signing the Manchester City keeper. We are priced at 6/4 (40%) which seems very short considering we are most likely to spend our transfer funds in other areas of the field. My bet would be we may sign a second or third choice keeper and our money will be spent on two forwards, a winger and another central defender. Any other signings will be loans.

Josh King Rated at 1-4 (80%) to stay at Bournemouth, the Hammers are 9/1 (10%) to sign the forward. If, as many predict, we fail to secure our big money targets, it may well be that Josh King is the sort of player we will throw money at in a last minute flurry before the window closes.

Jota 15/8 (35%) to stay at Brentford the odds of him coming to West Ham are 7/1 (12.5%). Don’t you just love these players with one name? The attacking Spanish midfielder, Jose Ignacio Peleteiro Ramallo is one I must admit I have never seen play before and is an interesting one?

Kelechi Iheanacho Already tagged on this site as “Nacho”, this is the one signing I would love to happen out of all the current rumours. This player will score goals wherever he plays and is young, has quick feet and bags of potential. He is 6/4 (40%) to join us although apparently Leicester lead the chase at even money (50%).

Mitchy Batshuayi Considering he is apparently one of our main targets it is initially surprising to see him priced at 7/1 (12.5%) to join the Hammers. Newcastle lead the chase but the 6/4 (40%) favourite is he is likely to remain a Chelsea player. This is of course because the most likely event is “Bats” will probably be loaned out next season and remain one of the plethora of players Chelsea have on their books but are loaned out elsewhere.

Olivier Giroud The ITK’s suggest this player is the main target for West Ham this window and we are prepared to match any offer? West Ham are 5/1 (16%) for his signature and he is 2/7 (78%) to stay at the Emirates. Perhaps the bookies feel that the most likely scenario here is that he will be loaned rather than sold? I find this unlikely though as they would get upward of 20m pounds for the player and at aged 30 that would be a terrific return for them.

Ross Barkley 4/1 (20%) to join West Ham, we are 3rd favourites behind Spurs and the player remaining at Everton. Personally, for reasons stated before, I just don’t see us spending the amount of money it would take to bring the midfielder to West Ham. I am sure our money will be directed towards other priorities.

Daniel Sturridge There was a lot of rumour some months ago about West Ham making Sturridge our big signing this window. It has all gone a bit cold and we are 8/1 (11%) for his signature now. He is 2/9 (81%) to remain at Liverpool.