After the departure of Marko Arnautovic, the Hammers have only Javier Hernandez and Jordan Hugill as senior centre forwards. However, Gough admitted he is a fan of their defence – Rushden, though, wasn’t so keen.
“I’m not sure about their defence, actually,” he told talkSPORT [10/07; 17:12]. “[Issa] Diop, you’re right, is good, but [Pablo] Zabaleta… he looks about 96.”
Gough then decided to look at five free agent strikers the club could sign: “Daniel Sturridge is available on a free. Now, it’s a risk because of the injuries he’s had. Danny Welbeck will be available on a free. [Shinji] Okazaki, one of my favourites. I love Okazaki – can you imagine him at West Ham? I can.
“[Fernando] Llorente at Spurs, available on a free. [Roberto] Soldado – come on! Could he come and score goals in the Premier League? So there are players out there who are available on frees, if that’s the way they’re looking.”
As Gough has explained, there are clearly options out there for West Ham if they do want to save money while bringing in a new striker to compliment Hernandez. You’d imagine Hugill won’t be anywhere near the starting eleven, so you’d need someone to come in and compete with the Mexican international. Sturridge and Welbeck would both be risky recruits given their injury track records, whereas Okazaki would appear to be past his best and isn’t a consistent goalscorer at Premier League level, even if he is a phenomenal team player. Llorente and Soldado would perhaps be unpopular recruits due to their Tottenham pasts, but they might be good bets. Llorente is still a decent frontman who could do a job, while Soldado will feel he has unfinished business in English football. As for Rushden’s uncalled for jab at Zabaleta.. have some respect, this is a multi-time Premier League winner!