West Ham United have been hit by an unfortunate striker injury crisis during the current international break.
Michail Antonio and Jarrod Bowen both suffered knee injuries whilst away from West Ham on international duty with Jamaica and England respectively, and it is believed that the 33-year-old could be out for up to nine months.
The news regarding Hammers hitman Bowen is a lot better though, with a report claiming he might even be fit to face Burnley this weekend.
Even if the 26-year-old is fit to start against the Clarets, it’s still fair to say that David Moyes has somewhat of a striker injury crisis on his hands at West Ham.
The fans are panicking about the Scot’s lack of options through the middle, with more than five weeks still to go before the January transfer window opens.
However, I believe that Moyes still has plenty of centre-forward options right under his nose…
Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images
Six West Ham striker injury crisis solutions
So, I believe that there are six players in the current Hammers squad who could operate as a centre-forward for us during the absences of Antonio and Bowen:
Now, Mubama and Ings are self explanatory – they are centre-forwards by trade of course. I actually don’t want to see the 31-year-old in a West Ham shirt ever again but that’s a discussion for another day…
Meanwhile, the other four aren’t quite as obvious. Tim Vickery told us all that Paqueta is capable of playing in the centre-forward role, back in August 2022 when the 26-year-old was on the cusp on joining the Hammers.
Meanwhile, Kudus has played in the striker role for Ajax on numerous occasions, and Moyes recently admitted that the Ghanaian is definitely capable of playing as a centre-forward.
In addition to those options, Cornet played for Burnley numerous times through the middle during his spell at Turf Moor, and he did the same for Lyon. The 27-year-old has barely played for West Ham this season but his pace and direct running could be a real asset for us inside the final third.
And last but not least, we have Soucek. I’ll admit that this one is a stretch but I would prefer the Czech Republic international to play up front than to see Ings in the lineup again.
The 28-year-old is incredibly strong in the air, and considering the fact that we’re not averse to playing long balls, I actually think he’d be a decent option for Moyes to try out.
So maybe, just maybe, things aren’t quite as bad as some people are making out.
I will caveat all of that by saying that Moyes still needs to sign a top-class centre-forward in January, if we are to progress as a club.
I’m just highlighting how, despite the striker injury crisis at West Ham, we will still be able to get by over the next five or six weeks.