David Moyes has admitted that West Ham may not sign a striker this January transfer window despite the lack of options in attack in the Hammers squad.
Currently, the only striker with Premier League experience in the West Ham squad is Michail Antonio, although Moyes believes he can utilise the likes of Jarrod Bowen or Andriy Yarmolenko up front.
Moyes was clear that he wants to add to his squad and he does want a striker but will not sign a player that does not fit his criteria merely to appease media and supporters.
“There’s a really good chance we don’t sign a centre-forward, a really good chance we don’t get one. That’s a fact and I’ve been saying that all along,” Moyes said.
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“I’m really desperate to sign a forward.It’s either the cost is too much, or they’re not available. I hope we find someone but I certainly haven’t got any guarantees that’s for sure.
“We’ve been looking in the loan market as well. 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 No.9. If we don’t bring in a striker, I have people at the club like Jarrod Bowen and Andriy Yarmolenko, so I might need to find other ways of doing it if we can’t bring in a No.9.”
The reliance on Antonio is a worry for West Ham, particularly when you factor in the striker will at some point this season begin an international career with Jamaica.
Moyes revealed that Antonio has been selected for Jamaica’s international squad for the September World Cup qualifiers but there remains a question mark about whether he is able to join up with the Reggae Boyz.
“Mich has been selected but two of the games are in red [list] countries [Mexico and Costa Rica], so he can’t go,” Moyes said referring to the UK Government’s travel restrictions.
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“There is one which he could possibly play, which is next weekend, but at the moment we are hearing Jamaica is [on the] amber [list] and very close to red, so it might be he misses it even if does decide to go. We are waiting on clarification.”
The manager added that if Antonio travels to Jamaica and the country is then moved from the amber to red list this would cause a ‘problem’ for West Ham.
Jamaica have a further three World Cup qualifiers in October, two in November and six between January and March, 2022. With little in the way of backup at West Ham Antonio’s fitness is set to be stretched over the coming months, particularly if Moyes’ prediction of no new arrivals upfront comes true.