West Ham haven’t had a striker deliver them 20 league goals in a top-flight season since Tony Cottee in 1986/87, but it seems this term Sam Allardyce is keen to see that finally change with the Hammers boss looking to add Benfica striker Oscar Cardozo to a striking arsenal that already includes Andy Carroll.
Unfortunately neither man is likely to be available to the manager for Saturday’s visit to Newcastle, making under 2.5 goals in the game a sensible bet at 83/100 with the Hammers the Premier League’s lowest away scorers last term, notching just 11 times.
Such a situation leaves West Ham reliant on the unproven Modibo Maiga, making the acquisition of another striker with a keen nose for goal look a necessity.
Paraguayan hit-man Cardozo has twice plundered in excess of 20 league goals for Benfica in the last four seasons and the fact that he has scored at least five times in his last four continental campaigns shows that his eye for goal isn’t limited to Portuguese football.
He was heavily linked with a move to Fenerbahce earlier this summer and after that deal collapsed the 30-year-old publicly admitted that he felt he may need to leave Estadio Da Luz.
It’s thought that any bid for the Paraguayan will be contingent on some pruning of the Hammers’ wage bill, but even if they fail in their bid to land Cardozo, Carroll may still be able to fill the decades-old 20-goal striker void when he returns to fitness.
Having arrived at Upton Park low on confidence after two disappointing seasons at Liverpool, the ex-Newcastle man scored just once before injury impeded his progress.
However, when he returned to full fitness in late January he registered seven goals in 14 starts for the club, suggesting that with a clean bill of health and a clear run of games he will be able to get back to being the striker that so terrorised defences in the Magpies’ first season back in the Premier League.
The Hammers’ summer acquisition of Stewart Downing means that Carroll should have an endless supply of tempting crosses on which to feed when he returns to the first team from injury this term, with Matt Jarvis on the right flank a cross delivering winger of a similar ilk.