Andy Carroll could be set for a return to full fitness soon, according to The Mirror.

Carroll has missed the whole of this season so far but is targeting a return after the international break.

But will he be any use to Manuel Pellegrini? We take a look at whether the physical centre-forward will fit in.

Alternative option

Andy Carroll’s aerial ability makes him one of the most dangerous players from set-pieces. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Pellegrini’s new 4-3-3 system is working wonders. He has a solid midfield trio providing a foundation for the front three to thrive.

With Felipe Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko cutting in and working around Marko Arnautovic, West Ham have a set attacking line.

There is no way that Carroll will replace Arnautovic as the central striker.

But there is hope for the former Newcastle United and Liverpool forward. He provides an alternative option up front for Pellegrini.

If the Hammers are leading, Carroll can hold the ball up and help out defensively with any set pieces.

And if West Ham are losing, Carroll’s aerial presence makes him a constant and direct threat.

 

His footballing ability will not earn him many starts under Pellegrini, but he is a useful impact substitution to have.

Injury prone attack

West Ham have been struggling up front recently due to an injury prone attack.

Arnautovic missed the 0-0 draw with Chelsea and he is playing through an injury, while Javier Hernandez has been out with illness.

With Lucas Perez and Michail Antonio able to play up front but better out wide, Carroll could be the third in line.

If Arnautovic and Hernandez are both out at the same time, this could be Carroll’s chance to shine.

Last chance

Carroll’s contract expires at the end of the season. His time at West Ham has been marred by constant injuries and time on the sidelines.

He has the rest of the season to prove that he can stay fit, score goals and make an impact.

If not, he could be looking for a new club at the end of the season.

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