West Ham United’s assistant manager Neil McDonald has shown his regret at failing to secure the signing of Nikica Jelavic before the player’s move to Everton in last January’s transfer window.

Jelavic, 27, turned down the chance to play for the Hammers and has since gone onto score 17 goals for the Toffees since leaving Ibrox for £5million.

“When we saw him at Rangers we thought he could score goals in the Premier League and he’s proved that. That’s Everton’s gain,” said McDonald.

The Irons assistant manager went onto admit that “There was a definite interest there and we did speak to him. Obviously he went to Everton and scored goals and proved he can play in the Premier League.”

However, he acknowledged that when one opportunity vanishes from sight, another is always nearby, “You are always disappointed when you don’t get players who come into the Premier League and do well but we got Andy Carroll so there is a little bit of a pay-off there.

“We are pleased with Andy’s contribution so far, even though he has got injured. If you don’t get one [transfer target] you try and get another.” (Sky Sports)

Jelavic has struggled to reach the same goal scoring heights of last season, however his injury-time winner against Tottenham Hotspur two weeks ago could be a signal of richer form to come. McDonald certainly hopes that the player doesn’t find the net at Upton Park this week.

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