West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce has revealed just how hard he tried to lure strikers to Upton Park, in his London Evening Standard column.

The Hammers have been struck by a crisis in their attacking options after record summer signing Andy Carroll was ruled out with injury for the next few months.

The shortage of strikers has unsurprisingly led to a Premier League goal drought.

So far this season out of the four Premier League fixtures, Allardyce's side have only scored in one game but have been helped out by consistent defensive performances that have only leaked one goals.

Last seasons out-of-favour forward, Modibo Maiga has been restored to first team action but is yet to find the net.

Allardyce has been forced to scour the free agent market for a replacement; Mladen Petric, formerly of Fulham is expected to lead the line this weekend, while Carlton Cole, who was released from The Hammers in the summer is yet to prove his fitness.

The former Bolton manager said: "Just to confirm something, we did try very hard to get another striker in on loan during the window.

"Jermain Defoe, Loic Remy, Romelu Lukaku, Demba Ba, two players from Juventus and Austrian international Marko Arnautovic, who joined Stoke, were all on our radar at one stage or another but for varying reasons, none of them came."

Stewart Downing also signed on in East London from Liverpool for big money but Allardyce defended his arrival.

"Stewart Downing, who had become available a little earlier, is an outstanding player who will be invaluable to us. I emphasise that because there has been some criticism out there that, instead of signing him, we should have waited for a striker.

"What would have been said if Stewart had gone to Newcastle or somewhere else instead of us and we had still missed out on a striker which would undoubtedly have been the case because we didn’t have enough money to buy the quality we wanted?

"It’s time to move on, get Stewart back from injury, find the right rehabilitation for Andy and improve what we have available.

"I said before the transfer window closed that I would reserve judgement on this season’s Premier League campaign until September, when I had the chance to assess each club’s squad and their spending."


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