West Ham United transfer focus – Caution should be urged over Carroll move

West Ham United have been active in the transfer market already, but the two players they have added haven’t caught the headlines. Razvan Rat’s arrival from Shakhtar Donetsk on a free transfer will strengthen the defence, while the addition of Spanish goalkeeper Adrian from Real Betis will give Jussi Jaaskelainen some stiff competition in goal.

However, it is clear what the main priority is for Sam Allardyce this summer, and that is forming a dangerous strike force that can shake up the Premier League. The main part of this plan is to complete the permanent transfer of Andy Carroll, but that move is still in jeopardy despite the Hammers and his parent club Liverpool agreeing a fee nearly three weeks ago.

The Daily Mail understands Carroll is to be offered a six-year contract worth £100,000 a week, making him the highest paid player in the history of the club.

It will almost literally hammer (pardon the pun) the tight structure in wages that Allardyce has put in place at many of his clubs. However, he is a keen admirer of the 24-year-old, and his loan spell convinced him to make Carroll the number one summer target.

He might want to think long and hard though about this before the striker returns from holiday next week. Carroll is currently out injured again, and will definitely miss the start of next season. Some would argue that he didn’t get much of a chance at Liverpool, but ultimately, he spectacularly failed to deliver at Anfield.

Liverpool paid a crazy fee in sheer desperation after losing Fernando Torres to Chelsea in January 2011, and the expectations were simply too huge on the striker’s shoulders.

His tendency to get injured and a solid, but unspectacular goalscoring record means taking him permanently is a big gamble. Plus, does Carroll even want to play long-term for West Ham? The Chronicle believes Carroll was hoping and pining for a return to Newcastle United.

He makes regular returns upto Tyneside still, and although the fans have given him stick for the way he left, the Toon Army would more than likely have forgiven him, especially as he would have filled their void left by Demba Ba’s departure earlier in the year.

There is no doubt that Andy Carroll is a nuisance for defenders, and he is a handy weapon to have in your squad. He’s probably the more modern version of Peter Crouch, but the wage demands he makes, combined with the injury track record means caution rather than excitement should be the reaction from east Londoners.

Then again, Allardyce made a bid for Alvaro Negredo, the goal king of Seville earlier in the week, and that was turned down by Sevilla, as reported by BBC Sport.

Negredo would promise more goals, and most Spanish players who have come to these shores have been a rousing success. He is most definitely a viable and potentially better solution in comparison to the tall, but at times fussy Carroll.

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