£30m Hugo Ekitike transfer decision is obvious amid West Ham, Wolves and Crystal Palace interest

The Paris Saint-Germain striker has been linked with a number of Premier League clubs in recent weeks
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You are Hugo Ekitike. This is your dilemma, your precarious limbo. A couple of years ago you erupted, whippet-like and precocious, into the collective consciousness of European football with a breakout campaign for your boyhood club, Stade de Reims. So good were you, in fact, that the biggest team in your home country, Paris Saint-Germain, set the wheels in motion on a deal that whisked you off to the French capital - initially on a loan deal, and then for a considerable wedge of money thereafter.

Your time in Paris has, however, been tricky. Last season, you flitted in and out of the starting XI, and as a consequence, you only registered four goals and four assists across all competitions. This term has been even worse - eight paltry minutes in a Ligue 1 stalemate against FC Lorient and absolutely nothing since. You can feel your relevancy dwindling by the week. The reports suggest you want to stay and fight for your place, but to all intents and purposes, the writing is on the wall.

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Over the summer, you tried to push for an exit. One Premier League club in particular - West Ham, it was - were interested in offering you an escape route, and you would have more than happily taken it were it not for PSG’s insistence that you instead head to Eintracht Frankfurt as part of a deal to bring in your replacement. You refused, dug your heels in. They signed him anyway.

And now you’re sat, marooned on the periphery, doomscrolling through whatever it is they’re calling Twitter these days, leafing through the gossip columns who are making a quick buck from your purgatory. Again and again, you see three names crop up - Wolves, Crystal Palace, and your old familiar flames, West Ham.

You ponder. If it had to be one of those three in January, which would you prefer? You pull up Transfermarkt in one tab, Whoscored in another. You flick on the latest episode of Match of the Day, whack on the subtitles. This could be a long evening, but then again, you have nothing better to do.

Wolves, you soon deduce, are in a world of bother. They may play in a splendid shade of gold and have a stadium whose name would sound delectable in your laconic French drawl, but already they look to be flirting with the prospect of a relegation battle this season.

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Perhaps if they had a striker... Perhaps if you were that striker... But no, the gamble feels too serrated. To go from the Champions League to the Championship in less than a year would be a clubbing blow to your reputation. You cannot shake the feeling that it would be best to avoid.

Then there is Crystal Palace. This feels a touch more like it. The vibes are exquisite - the buzzing dressing room of young attacking talent, the ardent support, the relative security of mid-table football. You can just envisage yourself slotting in alongside the likes of Michael Olise and Eberechi Eze. Put it on the ‘maybe’ pile.

Because despite everything - the summer disappointment and the groundswell of suitors since - you can’t stop thinking about West Ham. West Ham with their continental ambitions. West Ham with their desperate need for a striker to spearhead a bold new era in the club’s history. West Ham with their Olympic stadium and propensity for blowing bubbles.

You know that no move to the Premier League would be easy, but you also suspect that if you were to hit the ground running anywhere, West Ham could be the place that offers you the greatest dividends. You look at the three teams being perpetually linked with your signature, you weigh up which would provide the steadiest platform on which you could build the future that you aspire to, and you concluded, tentatively, that it is very probably the Hammers.