As speculation grows regarding a shock move to Chelsea for Andy Carroll, fans are wondering what logic underpins the potential switch. Having mustered just 86 games in his four and a half seasons at West Ham, offloading Carroll for a decent fee (or just offloading his weekly wage) would possibly be the best piece of financial business the Hammers have done in recent years during the treacherous January transfer window.
With Carroll once again in sickbay - this time with rumours that he is feigning an ankle injury to keep himself available for any potential move - David Moyes has been coy about the move. From a Chelsea perspective, the move makes little sense. The Pensioners already have a big man up front in Alvaro Morata who has a decent record of maintaining injury-free status over recent years and hardly needs back up.
At the start of this season Hammers fans hoped that a combination of Carroll and Chicharito up front could propel them up the table and onto the verge of Champion's League glory. However, the two have rarely played together as both have had constant injury niggles, while in reality, the two up front combination represents an outdated model of attack since most clubs prefer these days to work with a lone attacker and a mobile midfield pushing up in support.
Carroll appears very settled in London, but it is worth noting that many of his closer friends have departed from West Ham, including Kevin Nolan, Joey O'Brien and Darren Randolph. After a career that has been blighted by injuries, it may well be that Andy has adjusted to the reality that he can only ever be an occasional presence for any club and that, at 29 years of age, role as an impact substitute at Chelsea may be the height of what is possible for him now.
For the Hammers, losing Carroll would be a blow (sort of!) but if they could offload both Carroll and Sakho it would free up considerable resources to bring in strikers who will hopefully be reliable - both in terms of fitness AND goal scoring record. A possible swap for want-away Chelsea forward Michy Batshuayi represents good potential business as despite being used as a substitute for much of his time at Chelsea, he still has a considerably better scoring record (17 goals in 50 apps) than Carroll (32 in 124) that is similar to that of the terminally unhappy Diafra Sakho (24 in 71).
At this stage, if the rumours are correct, it might be better for Carroll to depart as it seems that his head has been turned. After so many false dawns over recent years, a fatigued Hammers fan base will mostly welcome moving on with new blood up front.