Former Hammer believes Cole could provide backup for injured striker.
Former West Ham striker Tony Cottee believes the club must look to re-sign Carlton Cole following news of a long-term injury to striker Andy Carroll, according to talkSPORT.
The Hammers have already acted quickly today to the news of Carroll’s latest layoff, which looks likely to keep him out until January, by signing free agent and former Fulham striker Mladen Petric as a replacement.
However, Sam Allardyce’s side still look short of options upfront due to some disappointing recent form from the likes of Madibo Maiga and Ricardo Vaz Te, and had tried hard to bring in a new striker during the summer transfer window, missing out on the likes of Fabio Quagliarella and Oscar Cardozo before deadline day.
Following the close of the transfer window, Allardyce has been forced to consider players currently unattached to other clubs, who are still able to move. Despite having released Cole at the end of last season, it was thought that the former Chelsea man could be set to re-join the club after undergoing a medical at Upton Park.
However, he was not taken on due to concerns over his fitness, a decision which Cottee thinks is a mistake given the club’s current crisis upfront.
“If you are going to have someone as a back-up to Andy Carroll, surely Carlton Cole is that man. I don’t know why he didn’t sign a new contract,” Cottee said.
“They now need to work really hard to get him back to some match fitness because Maiga has been poor in the first two or three games of the season, Vaz Te is unsettled and Elliot Lee is a good player, but he is only 18 years of age.
“They are really struggling in terms of who plays up front for the club. They need Carlton Cole back fit and there is obviously going to be pressure on Petric to hit the ground running.”