David Moyes has admitted that West Ham’s summer transfer budget was a finite amount and it was his decision to spread the money over a number of positions.
West Ham brought in Kurt Zouma and Nikola Vlasic and two loan signings, Alex Kral and Alphonse Areola with the potential to become permanent transfers over the summer but did not sign a striker.
Since Sebastien Haller’s departure in January West Ham have been on the hunt for a replacement. Moyes has consistently repeated his mantra that he would not waste the club’s money and would only bring in the right player.
With the boss deciding that the player was not available he re-evaluated his options late in the summer transfer window.
“Trying to find someone who could replace Mic wasn’t easy, but we tried,” Moyes said. “We found ones which we thought would be suitable but we couldn’t get them for different reasons.
“Ultimately trying to replace Mic isn’t easy so probably a week or two back I had made up my mind that it would be very difficult to get another No.9 who would be suitable back up so I needed to find other ways of making that work.
“I wanted to get goals and assists into the team and trying to find centre forwards who were gettable at the right price wasn’t easy.
“I had to think very carefully about how I was going to spend the money I had and what I could do. If I had used it all up on a No.9 who may have had to sit on the bench while Micky played might not have been the right way.
“So I am hoping that we have got somebody in Nikola Vlasic someone who can play several roles, as we had with Jesse [Lingard] last year and I felt that was probably the better way to go at the moment. We have Jarrod, we have Yarmolenko, maybe Nico if he is called upon.”
West Ham begin their Europa League campaign next week and face seven matches in just 23 days and Moyes is well aware of the strains that could put on Antonio.
“We won’t start Mic in every match, we’ll pick and choose,” he said. “We have seen Yarmolenko playing as a No.9, Jarrod Bowen can play as a No.9 so I feel as if I’ve got one or two other options which I can look to do”
Why should you sign up?
In each football.london West Ham bulletin, we’ll be bringing you the latest breaking news, transfer features and comment pieces, as well as the key talking points for fans.
We’ll also send special newsletters when big stories break or there’s a special event happening.
How do you sign up?
It’s easy and only takes seconds.
Simply type your email address into the box at the top of this article – or any article on the West Ham section of football.london in fact – labelled ‘Get the biggest daily stories by email’ and click ‘Subscribe’.
And that’s it, you’re all set.
If you decide later that you no longer wish to receive the emails, simply follow the unsubscribe link in one of the newsletters – but we don’t think you’ll want to.
For more details, click here.
Vlasic arrived on deadline day and has played as a striker in the past but Moyes is not planning on using him in that role regularly.
“I’m not sure as a No.9,” Moyes said. “But I don’t think there is a problem if I have to use him there as well. Possibly the other boys [Yarmolenko and Bowen] are ahead of him before he will play in that role.”