West Ham have been extremely active in the transfer market this summer but Andy Carroll’s latest injury leaves their forward line severely undermanned.
With Javier Hernandez not managing to fully impress in his return to the Premier League last term and Jordan Hugill featuring for just 22 minutes after signing from Preston in January, news from BBC Sport that Carroll will miss the first three months of the season following a recurrence of an ankle injury is not surprising.
Admittedly it is not a massive surprise given Carroll’s injury history and the latest setback shows Manuel Pellegrini where he needs to focus on strengthening his side, otherwise it could be another turbulent campaign in east London.
“Andy played and scored in Sunday’s match but is still reporting some discomfort in his ankle and further scans have revealed that he requires some minor surgery to provide more strength and stability to the area.”
Fortunately, though, there are bargains to be had in the market and we have collected three ideal targets here.
Gregoire Defrel – Roma
First linked with a move to West Ham last summer by Tuttomercatoweb, Gregoire Defrel eventually moved across Serie A from Sassuolo to join Roma but the France striker has struggled to make a positive impression during his time at the Stadio Olimpico.
The 27-year-old netted just one goal in 15 league appearances for Roma and Corriere Dello Sport claim he could be on the move once again, with West Ham attributed with an interest in his services alongside Sassuolo and Genoa.
While his record in front of goal last season was poor, Defrel would present a decent option in the squad for Pellegrini as an alternative to Mexico star Hernandez.
Bas Dost – Sporting Lisbon
Seemingly linked with a move to the Premier League since the dawn of time, the Netherlands striker may end up coming to a stadium near you very soon following his departure from Sporting Lisbon – cancelling his contract after being attacked by fans at the training ground.
With 61 goals in 61 league appearances for the Portuguese giants, the availability of the 29-year-old on a free transfer is something West Ham should definitely not pass them by, having first tried to move for the striker way back in 2012, according to ESPN.
As far as free signings go, Bas Dost could potentially be one of the best in years and there is little risk attached to a transfer. He could even end up playing ahead of Javier Hernandez rather than a back-up option.
Roberto Inglese – Napoli
Sky Italia (h/t Sky Sports) first reported West Ham’s interest in Napoli striker Roberto Inglese in June and speculation could begin to mount after Carroll’s injury, following a successful spell on-loan with Serie A minnows Chievo last term – scoring 11 goals in 32 appearances.
At 6 ft 1, Inglese could be the target man to replace Carroll in the long-term and the 26-year-old may be a better option to lead the line than Hernandez. However, his reported valuation of £17 million may be a difficult figure for a side, whose spending is approaching £100 million, to finance.
Sporting Lisbon, the club enduring a torrid time in the market amidst a wealth of departures, have been mentioned as potential candidates for Inglese’s services but West Ham should certainly make a move to beat them in the hunt.