West Ham have slowly put their season back together over the past few weeks. After a woeful start brought on by trouble on and off the pitch the Hammers were once again blindsided by star man Dimitri Payet deciding he’d had enough and going on strike.
Since then the players have seemingly rallied and have begun to turn in performances of a standard much higher than those before the turn of the year.
One issue which refuses to go away, however, is that of the strikers berth. In Andy Carroll, Slaven Bilic has one of the most dangerous front men in the Premier League, however, having only started nine league games this season, his injury record is always going to be a problem, and an expensive one, hence the rumours over the last few days of the club considering offers from the Chinese Super League.
The former Newcastle and Liverpool striker has missed a whopping 101 games for the Hammers, across eight different bouts with injury, meaning, although he has a strong impact when fit, value for money hardly springs to mind.
The club were close to bringing in the now Aston Villa striker, Scott Hogan, over the January window, but Bilic went cold on the idea at the last minute, leaving him with Jonathan Calleri, Michail Antonio and Andre Ayew to fill the role in Carroll’s absence.
Having struggled to settle in the side so far, summer signing Andre Ayew bagged only his second Premier League goal in a West Ham shirt in the draw at Watford over the weekend, his first game back since the Africa Cup of Nations, however, he will now be sensing a chance to kick on.
Up next are Premier League leaders Chelsea, whom he has already scored against in his career in English football, but following them is what should present an easier run of games for the Ghana international to get his feet under the table as a striker in claret and blue.
With Antonio having picked up a late suspension at Vicarage Road, and Carroll’s fitness still a doubt, Ayew will feel that, consider Calleri is still only being used off the bench and has much less experience in the Premier League, now is his time to really arrive as a West Ham player.
Should the former Swansea man be able to find the form he showed whilst in south Wales and then kick on from there at the London Stadium, the concerns over who can lead the line in the absence of, or even ahead of, Carroll could fade away rather quickly.