|The Rumours are just a cod|
Reports over the 24 hours indicate that Crystal Palace are planning a £15 million raid to capture West Ham's Andy Carroll! Not surprisingly, the news has spread wildly despite the fact that there is virtually no evidence to support it!
Carroll has endured a stop-start career at West Ham over the past 4 years but genuinely looks set to deliver on his potential this season. Last week's brace against Juventus underlined his aerial abilities, where on his day he can be virtually un-markable. Add to that his defensive contributions at set pieces and the value of the Big Man to West Ham becomes apparent.
While the £15million that West Ham paid to take Carroll to Upton Park on a permanent basis was a club record at the time, it's a measure of the state of the market that even for an injury-prone player, it would take a considerably higher figure to raise West Ham's interest.
Having given up on their drawn out pursuit of Carlos Bacca, West Ham captured two strikers last week in Andre Ayew and Jonathan Calleri. However, they may still be short on attacking firepower as Diafra Sakho's apparent return to training seems more likely to be aimed at preparing him for sale rather than a return to the first team. Most observers see little way back for him after his recent tantrums.
Similarly, Enner Valencia's likelihood of remaining at the club after this transfer window appear limited as he has been linked with a variety of clubs in Italy and Turkey. while West Ham may have an abundance of young talent coming through but these are mainly defenders and midfielders. As a consequence, Slaven Bilic is very unlikely to give the nod to the departure of any of his other striking talents.
All of which makes the Palace rumours difficult to understand. In truth, the small South London club look more likely to sign Billy the Fish than Andy C.
Then again, who would have predicted that they'd capture James Tomkins?