Alternative Options In Attack
Take a cursory glance at West Ham’s squad and a glaring gap immediately presents itself – the lack of a natural alternative to first-choice centre-forward Michail Antonio.
Antonio’s record of eight goals and five assists puts him at the top of West Ham’s list for Premier League goal involvements this season and a long-term injury to the 31-year-old could derail the Hammers’ campaign.
Jarrod Bowen has filled in for the Jamaica international on a couple of occasions, but genuine cover and competition for the striker is imperative – particularly in instances such as his eight-game goal-drought in the league between October and December.
Gabriel Barbosa Interest
To that end, it has been reported that the Hammers have opened talks with Flamengo regarding Gabriel Barbosa – more commonly known as ‘Gabigol’.
The centre-forward, 25, is thought to be of interest to several Premier League clubs following a successful season in his native Brazil, scoring 23 times in just 31 appearances between the Copa Libertadores and Brazilian Serie A in 2021.
Moyes was keen to add a new striker before the end of the summer transfer window, but made it clear that he would not sign a player out of desperation.
"I'm really desperate to sign a forward," Moyes said in August. "It's either the cost is too much, or they're not available.
"But I'm just not going to bring in somebody who people think should be playing when they're not good enough to play.
"I want to bring in somebody who I think will play, whether that's instead of Michail Antonio, or because of injury or suspension.
"I need somebody who can play at that level, not just somebody who wears No9."
Despite appearing relatively well-stocked in most other departments, injuries mean that a centre-back and a left-back appear necessary as well.
West Ham have four senior central defenders, but have lost Kurt Zouma and Angelo Ogbonna to injury, while first-choice left-back Aaron Cresswell is also out for the foreseeable future with a back issue.
Zouma, 27, is likely to return before the end of January, but Ogbonna, 33, is out for the season following a cruciate ligament injury and Moyes may take this opportunity to bring in a successor to the Italian.
Moyes could apply the same logic to 32-year-old Cresswell’s situation, with rumours surfacing that the former Everton manager could return to his old club in the hopes of landing Lucas Digne, 28, who has fallen out with Toffees boss Rafa Benitez.