West Ham United have finally managed to boost their striking options with five days left to go in the January transfer Window.
Having completed loan deals for AS Roma striker Marco Borriello, the club have also strengthened in midfield securing the services of Antonio Nocerino from AC Milan. The question is this: will they prove to be good signings as the Hammers battle for Premier League survival?
Sam Allardyce is under pressure to get results, but last time West Ham panic bought Alan Curbishley resigned. The board at that time had agreed a deal to sell both George McCartney and Anton Ferdinand to Sunderland after the appointment of then technical director Gianluca Nani. The reason for these sales was to raise further funds but what the club had been left with was a replacement defender in Democratic Republic of Congo left back Herita Ilunga and Italian striker David Di Michele.
After hearing the news of these deals the following day, Curbishley then left the club and so they then turned to the former Chelsea striker Gianfranco Zola.
All concerned with the club would think that Big Sam has discussed the deals for the two Italians with the co-owners and assume that they have approved it, simply because they seem fairly patient and are prepared to back their man. Will faith in the manager be repaid by the players?
January is always a frustrating time for managers as they can only seem to do deals with players that are out of favour. Allardyce has been desperate to bring in a striker during this window, seeing the lack of goals scored by his team this season, and thought he had struck a deal with AS Monaco’s Lacina Traoré.
This would have seen him arrive at Upton Park on a loan deal until the end of the season – but the deal and the player was snatched away from right under his nose by fellow Premier League club Everton.
If the plan to bring these two Italians to East London works then it would mirror the impact Diego Tristan had on the club back in the 2009/10 season, when the club finished in ninth place in the table.
For the most part this season the main topic of conversation around West Ham has been their lack of striking options on the pitch. Since the return of Carlton Cole, however, things have begun to look better for the Hammers; the suggestion is that with a decent striker on the pitch and a fit team behind him the club could manage to retain their top flight status.
It’s worthy of note that Andy Carroll started his first game since signing for the club on a permanent basis this month and Ricardo Vaz Te will be back in first-team action soon, having played his part in the behind closed doors friendly against Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday. It would not be too much to assume that, sooner rather than later, West Ham will be back to their usual top form.
It is thought that Borriello and Nocerino will be in contention for the trip to Chelsea on Wednesday evening and attention will then turn to see if the Hammers can acquire more targets as the window closes at 11pm on Friday.
After that, Allardyce is probably relishing the fact that they have another game not long after when Swansea City visit East London for the early kick-off on Saturday.