Sam Allardyce bet big when he broke West Ham’s transfer record to sign England centre-forward Andy Carroll during the summer, but the former Newcastle man’s inability to shake off a foot injury has ruined the Dudley-born manager’s best laid plans this season.
With no end in sight to the 6ft 3in striker’s fitness woes the Upton Park chief has sent his scouts to check out Heerenveen’s Icelandic hotshot Alfred Finnbogason and the Hammers are poised to see off other suitors with a bid for the player in January.
Finnbogason has scored 11 goals in his first eight games for Heerenveen this season.
The 24-year-old was in with a shout of overtaking West Ham summer transfer target Wilfried Bony at the top of the Eredivisie scoring charts last season, before an end of term slump put paid to his chances of catching the 31-goal Ivorian.
However, Finnbogason has started 2013/14 like a train, getting on the scoresheet in each of the eight games he has played in the Dutch top flight so far and bagging braces on three occasions already.
With West Ham short of firepower, Allardyce is fielding players out of position up front.
Central midfielder Momo Diame found himself furthest forward on a number of occasions during the east Londoners’ 3-1 loss at home to Man City, with winger/playmaker Ravel Morrison also relied upon to no avail against Manuel Pellegrini’s men.
Ricardo Vaz Te’s pair of strikes in the Hammers’ last two Premier League fixtures have been a welcome bonus, but the Portuguese winger’s record of 29 league goals in his ten-year career could never be called prolific and none of his fellow forwards Modibo Maiga, Mladen Petric or Carlton Cole have yet managed a goal this term.
Record Hammers signing Carroll is still injured and has yet to be given a return date.
Carroll’s seven Premier League goals in his last 16 games for the Irons during 2012/13 – which included the winner at home to Swansea and a brace in the 3-1 defeat of West Brom at Upton Park – have been sorely missed so far this term and there is still no word on when the £15m man will make his seasonal debut.
Finnbogason has excelled in Holland largely playing as a lone striker and with Carroll’s injury threatening to ruin the former Liverpool number nine’s entire season, Allardyce could be forced to make a big bid for the Rejkavik native in January with Newcastle, Everton and AC Milan also rumoured to be in for the player.