It’s to no one’s great surprise that Andy Carroll is injured again. Not only that, but the striker will miss the next four months, returning sometime around November, though you’d be brave to bet on that.
West Ham, in the meantime, will be in need of plugging that gap and bringing in someone who can work effectively in the Premier League until the striker’s return.
The club have already brought in Enner Valencia and Mauro Zarate, but between them they have half-a-season’s worth of experience in the English top flight. Bringing in someone already based in the Premier League should be a must.
Here is a rundown of five options to replace Andy Carroll in the West Ham squad.
Danny Welbeck’s future at Manchester United isn’t really in danger or any great doubt, but the striker hasn’t done enough to be a regular in the team’s starting XI, failing to hit the back of the net with the regularity that’s expected of him.
Welbeck could be the perfect short-term answer for West Ham. The England international is good enough to be a starter in Sam Allardyce’s team, with the versatility and work rate to be deployed anywhere across the front line.
Welbeck could have a good career at Old Trafford, but now he really does need to develop further as a forward. A loan move would suit all parties.
There are surely some who are still waiting for Jordan Rhodes to make the step up from the Championship to the Premier League.
The Scotland international has scored over 20 goals in each of his two seasons with Blackburn and very much looks capable of producing in the top flight.
West Ham will find trouble in negotiating with Blackburn, who will not want to lose their star forward. But while it is a gamble, if Sam Allardyce can land the 24-year-old, it could pay off in a big way.
Nicklas Bendtner is currently a free agent after seeing his contract at Arsenal expire. The Dane hasn’t the best of reputations in England, but that’s largely due to his off-field actions.
Bendtner may have frustrated Arsenal supporters in the past, but his form for Denmark has generally been very good – and that’s what his next club will need to unlock, the consistency to perform effectively at the highest level.
The Dane would be a good signing for West Ham, provided they can get round his wage demands. Bendtner is a good footballer who, on his day, can produce far more than many of the mid-table strikers currently in the league.
Connor Wickham arrived at Sunderland in 2011 with plenty of promise, but hasn’t featured as much as many would have expected over the past few seasons, seeing a couple of loan moves during that period.
But most would have been reminded that he still plays for the club during their stunning run of form at the end of last season, in which the 21-year-old scored against Manchester City and Chelsea.
Wickham wouldn’t be a bad shout for West Ham this summer, even as a loan signing from now until January.
Marouane Fellaini doesn’t look to have a future at Manchester United with Louis van Gaal now in charge. The Belgian international had a hugely disappointing season at the club last term and will more than likely be shown the door at some stage this summer.
Even though he isn’t a striker, he’d be a perfect replacement for Andy Carroll at West Ham, with experience of having played in an advanced role during his Everton days.
Fellaini ticks all the boxes of a typical Sam Allardyce signing, and if the club can get a loan move off the ground at the very least, he should be able to kick start his career, which is currently going nowhere at Old Trafford.