David Moyes risks laying bare West Ham United’s desperation by pursuing a deal to sign a free-agent to solve his lack of depth at striker after Sebastien Haller’s exit.
According to Irons insider ExWHUemployee, while speaking on The West Ham Way podcast, Moyes could look to explore the free-agent market after refusing to sign a centre-forward during the mid-season window.
But things have only gotten worse at the London Stadium since that decision, with doubt now lingering over Michail Antonio’s fitness after showing signs of serious fatigue at Fulham and being rested for the FA Cup defeat to Manchester United.
West Ham have also lost Andriy Yarmolenko for the foreseeable, after the Ukraine winger sustained knee ligament damage at Old Trafford while leading the line in the absence of Antonio.
Teen prospect Mipo Odubeko came on to replace Yarmolenko but struggled to get going and was eventually replaced in extra-time, yet he and Jarrod Bowen may be Moyes’ only options for when the Irons host Sheffield United on Monday night.
Hammers insider ExWHUemployee believes the situation could force the club to look into signing a free-agent to help add depth until the end of the season, but West Ham currently have no active plans in place.
Moyes potentially now looking at adding a free-agent to support Antonio would prove his decision not to sign a striker in January was a huge blunder, and one that will lay bare his desperation to atone for the mistake.
West Ham will not be blessed with that many great options should they hit the scrapheap, either, with ex-Chelsea forward Diego Costa the only free-agent striker with a TransferMarkt valuation above £3.5m after he agreed to have his £265,000-per-week Atletico Madrid contract terminated early.
Costa departed the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in December as Atleti sought to reduce their wage bill, and agreed to tear up the final six months of his deal after spending periods out since September with coronavirus, a hamstring injury and deep-vein thrombosis.
The Spaniard returned earlier than expected to score the last of his 83 career goals for Los Colchoneros in a 3-1 La Liga win over Elche in December, and was linked with a move to the London Stadium in January.
Former Premier League striker Dean Windass urged West Ham to make a move for Costa while speaking exclusively to Football FanCast last month, but reports by football.london on Deadline Day claimed there was no truth in the rumours of a move to the Hammers.
If Costa is still not a target, other free-agents to consider include Daniel Sturridge – who has been without a club since March – Alexandre Pato – without a club since August – and Wilfried Bony – who has played 10 games since April 2019.
Clearly, then, the options are not great, so it remains to be seen if even desperation will force Moyes into accepting he was wrong and now signing someone no one else wants.