Sam Allardyce has revealed that West Ham's star striker Andy Carroll is close to a return to first-team football.

The 25-year old, who signed permanently from Liverpool following a season long loan last year, hasn't featured for the team this season following a foot injury.

His return comes at a critical time for West Ham as they are in a precarious position in the Premier League, just one point off the bottom of the table. It also follows last weekend’s heavy defeat to Championship side Nottingham Forest, 5-0 in the FA Cup.

Whilst Carroll is not likely to be fit in time to play against Manchester City in the Capital One Cup semi-final on Wednesday, he may be back for the tie against Cardiff, a far more important game, as the Welsh side are also down the bottom of the table.

His physical presence makes him a natural target for the London club and could fill the gap that the team have been missing, scoring only 19 goals so far this campaign, a tally that Carroll will certainly be looking to add to. He makes set pieces more dangerous for his side and means that a more direct game can be employed if necessary to take advantage of his physique.

Allardyce will hope that the recent indifferent form of Carroll will turn into that of the form he exhibited at Newcastle, which earned him his £30million transfer to Liverpool. He is a striker with a lot of potential that he is still really to unlock anywhere but Newcastle, however, the club are looking for a saviour and who better to save them than Carroll.

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