West Ham are lining up a shock move for Stoke City striker Peter Crouch after deals to bring in other targets have fallen through, according to the Sunday Express.
The former Liverpool and Tottenham striker has been identified as the man to fill the void left at Upton Park by hitman Andy Carroll, who is expected to be out for up to four months with an ankle injury.
Furthermore, Sam Allardyce has revealed that new star signing Enner Valencia will require at least three weeks of training before he is fit to start in the Premier League, so they are desperate to bring in another front man.
Crouch may not be a glamorous player in that he will get you up off of your seat, but he is capable of scoring goals and his record, especially at international level, is quite phenomenal.
He has scored a hugely impressive 22 goals in 42 England appearances and, despite his stature, he is very mobile for a big man.
At Stoke he has scored 32 goals in 116 appearances however he did not fare so well during his Liverpool and Spurs days.
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During his time at Anfield the 6ft 7 striker managed 22 goals in 85 appearances, although he gained valuable experience playing in the Champions League and often provided important strikes.
Under Harry Redknapp at Tottenham he only scored 12 goals in 73 appearances but his contribution to the team was vital and his ability to hold up the ball and bring his teammates into play is one of his best traits.
Crouch, who turns 34 in January, could definitely help a Hammers side that are short on numbers in that area, and for a price of £1million it would be a cheap option for Big Sam.
He is by no means the answer to West Ham’s problems in that department, but they could do a lot worse than Crouch, who has a wealth of experience at all levels of the game.
He is a handful for any back line on his day and he often finds himself in good positions in and around the penalty area. The tall striker is also capable of pulling off some incredible acrobatic strikes but whether he still has the hunger and ability to do so is another question entirely.
Crouch is in the last year of a £40,000-a-week deal and it is understood that he has indicated he would like to return to the capital.
The Hammers had been in the running for former Chelsea man Samuel Eto’o, who is now a free agent, however the deal fell through because of his £100,000-a-week wage demands.
The east London outfit have also been linked with Shakhtar Donetsk’s out of favour Argentinian striker Facundo Ferreyra but he has agreed to join Newcastle United on a year-long loan deal.
So Crouch could well be the last resort for West Ham who are desperate to bring in a reinforcement to prevent them being left with limited options in attacking areas once again.
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