This week I will be analysing the whole squad and asking you to give your views as to whether each player should be retained or be sold. Let’s start off with the forwards…
Nene is 33 years old and was signed as backup in the transfer window. He was a Sullivan signing and was never wanted by Sam Allardyce, and was never really given a chance to show what he could do. He didn’t start a single game, yet has declared that he wants to stay. I fear he will be disappointed. VERDICT: RELEASE
Andy Carroll looked back to the player he once was and then he got injured again. He scored 5 in 12, which is a good rate of return, but bearing in mind he costs us £100k a week, that’s a million pounds per goal and almost half a million pounds per game. On is day he is a wordlbeater and gives the team something unique, but can we really rely on a striker who plays so few games? At the moment it’s unlikely any other club would pay a huge amount for him, certainly nowhere near the £20 million he cost. However, it’s clear that he can only ever be relied upon as one of three top class strikers. VERDICT: KEEP, BUT SELL IF A £15 MILLION OFFER COMES IN
Although he was never given a real chance by Sam Allardyce his behaviour on loan at QPR has been nothing short of a disgrace. VERDICT: SELL. QUICK
I imagine there’s no way back for Carlton now, but at the age of 31 he still has a lot to give. I wonder if Norwich might put in a bid. Personally, I’d love it if he stayed as our fourth back-up striker, but to be fair to him he wants regular first team football. VERDICT: HEAD SAYS RELEASE, HEART SAYS KEEP
Ten goals in 23 appearances says it all. Possibly the find of the season. Allardyce would have preferred Connor Wickham, but David Sullivan got his way, and thank God he did. Sakho, if he keeps fit, could be the 20 goal a season striker we’ve been searching for for many years. VERDICT: KEEP
Elliot Lee is not a Premier League class striker and never will be. Even on loan to Luton he only scored three in eleven games. It would have been lovely for him to break through, but it’s not going to happen. VERDICT: SELL
When Enner Valencia scored that wonderful free kick against Hull we allowed ourselves to believe we had got a pearl of a player, but sadly he’s never really lived up to the hype. He has flashes of brilliance, but they are few and far between. Four goals in 30 games tells its own story, bearing in mind he has scored 11 in 17 for Equador. Maybe our style of play wasn’t to his liking or he just found the physicality of the Premier League too much. Chelsea are said to be willing to pay £21 million for him, although I doubt we’ll ever see the colour of their money. VERDICT: SELL IF WE CAN GET OUR MONEY BACK
We should also remember that technically Modibo Maiga is still a West Ham player, as he will return from his loan period with Metz, where he scored a more than respectable 9 goals in 24 appearances. At least that puts him in the shop window.
With Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho, it seems to me we need to buy two strikers before the start of next season – one small, nippy striker and another who can replace Carroll or Sakho is they get injured.