Despite the recruitment of £16m record signing Andy Carroll, West Ham remain feather-light in the goal-scorer department as they approach their Premier League consolidation season and they could turn to Chelsea’s Demba Ba in what could be a profitable reunion for the striker and the bubble blowers.
Ba may have only joined Chelsea in January, but that was under the auspices of interim manager Rafael Benitez and rumours that he was not foremost among his new manager’s plans have been circulating since early last month.
Romelu Lukaku’s return from a successful loan period at West Brom, combined with Andre Schurrle’s arrival from Bayer Leverkusen has already seemingly whittled away at the Senegalese’s potential starting opportunities, whilst the club’s pursuit of Wayne Rooney and interest in former Jose Mourinho favourite Samuel Eto’o suggest he could be even further from playing time.
There’s no such problem at Upton Park, where Carroll has just two colleagues with which to compete for starting berths in Ricardo Vaz Te and Modibo Maiga.
That pair managed just five league goals between them last term and Ba would offer a far more prolific alternative, having notched 15 and 16 times – both from 34 league appearances – in his last two seasons.
Allardyce’s men are inseparable from Southampton in a seasonal match bet at 17/20 and Ba’s extra goal power could see them out-point the Saints – who out-scored the Hammers by four goals last term – in the new campaign.
The ex-Newcastle man had a prolific spell at West Ham in 2010/11 as he notched seven times in 12 games whilst trying in vain to preserve the East London club’s top flight status.
One potential barrier to a move is the Hammers’ wage bill, which they will need to thin before they bring in any potential striking reinforcements, however both Maiga – who only arrived from Souchaux a year ago – and Vaz Te have been linked to moves away from the club in recent days.