Sonny Perkins has inadvertently upped his tribunal price tag for West Ham after rescuing Leeds United with his first senior goal.
As fans will be only too aware, Perkins turned his back on West Ham in the summer to sign for Leeds in a bitter departure and compensation will be due to the Hammers.
Perkins rose to prominence with regular inclusion in the West Ham first team squad last season despite being just 17 at the time.
And that had clearly caught the attention of new Leeds manager Jesse Marsch.
Originally a midfielder, Perkins was switched to the striker role and shone for club and country, going on to establish himself as the number one forward for West Ham’s Under 23s and England’s Under 18s.
The Guardian and The Athletic had reported for some time that West Ham could lose the England youth international with the likes of Leeds vying for his signature in the summer.
It was felt the speculation was merely a drive to get a better deal out of West Ham. So when Perkins really did leave for Elland Road the news came as something of a shock to fans and had supporters of Leeds scrambling Google for information on the youngster.
West Ham did not hide their disappointment at the situation when they announced Perkins had decided to leave the club in an angry statement in which they criticised his agents.
West Ham fans did not take kindly to one of their young academy graduates turning their back on the club either.
The player himself had his say on his decision to leave West Ham during the summer.
Perkins sent a classy but damning West Ham farewell message where he thanked the club for the memories and David Moyes for giving him his debut, but said he had to leave for the good of his career.
Compensation that is due to West Ham is still to be decided by a tribunal.
The fact he has most featured for the development team thus far would mean Leeds could make a case for that fee to be at the lower end of the scale.
But now Perkins has inadvertently upped his tribunal price tag for West Ham after rescuing Leeds with his first senior goal.
Perkins had only made one senior appearance for Leeds so far, in the Carabao Cup.
The 18-year-old came on as a late substitute for the Whites as they faced crashing out of the FA Cup to 10-man Cardiff on Sunday.
With the score 2-1 to the Championship side, Perkins made a nuisance of himself and showed his striker’s instinct by neatly turning home a cross at the death to make it 2-2 and force a replay.
With a senior goal under his belt at just 18 years of age – and on only his second first team appearance – West Ham can now argue the case for a higher compensation fee.
After all strikers are one of the most expensive and coveted positions in the game. And West Ham have lost a potential future full England international for nothing.
West Ham could do with Perkins in the squad this season too given their own goalscoring issues. It is a great shame and the Hammers must ensure they are duly recompensed even though these tribunals hand out notoriously low fees.