West Ham chairman dubs new signing "electric" - would he and Carroll be perfect together?

Upton Park

West Ham co-chairman David Gold says Enner Valencia is "electric" - leaving Hammers fans to wonder about a partnership with Andy Carroll.

Despite a growing sense of unease amongst West Ham fans over the direction of the team under manager Sam Allardyce, the Hammers boss was backed in the transfer market this summer with the arrivals of Carl Jenkinson, Cheikhou Kouyate, Aaron Cresswell, Alex Song, Diego Poyet Morgan Amalfitano, Diafra Sakho and Mauro Zarate - but the club's biggest signing came in the form of Enner Valencia.

Valencia, 24, was one of the stars of the World Cup as he scored three goals in three games to bag all of Ecuador's goals in Brazil. With a header against Switzerland and two goals against Honduras, Valencia became hot property - despite previously being a winger for club Pachuca in Mexico and with his country.

West Ham were seemingly undeterred by the recent failure of another World Cup star at Upton Park in Pablo Barrera, and they forked out a whopping £12m to lure Valencia to English football, obviously happy with what they'd seen in Brazil over the summer.

Valencia has barely featured so far for West Ham as he improves his fitness levels, but co-chairman David Gold gave a glowing reference for the forward, saying he is 'electric'.

"This guy is a truly exciting footballer – he has electric pace and will worry any defence in the Premier League," said Gold. "We expect him to have a real impact for us but because he has such tremendous pace don’t expect him to be running all over the pitch for 90 minutes. He conserves his pace and energy for those electric runs which are fully capable of changing games."

Valencia is known for his exceptional pace and surprisingly dangerous aerial ability, and his darting runs caused problems for defences in Brazil. He worked well feeding off former Manchester City striker Felipe Caicedo for Ecuador, and his success in that style has to lead to thoughts of how he'd fare alongside Andy Carroll.

Love him or hate him, Carroll is an outstanding target man. He's strong, fantastic in the air and can hold the ball up, and the famous little-and-large partnerships have been engrained in football tactics for years; Crouch and Defoe, Phillips and Quinn, Heskey and Owen - all of which saw great success in the Premier League.

In Allardyce's often-effective if regularly dour style of football, so much will be placed on the long balls into Carroll - and he needs someone to feed off the former Liverpool and Newcastle striker. Valencia's game is ideally suited to that role, and they could be the next great little-and-large combination in the top flight.

Of course, Carroll is sidelined until around December with torn ankle ligaments, but by the team he returns to full fitness, Valencia will have had time to adjust to English football and the fitness rigours that come with it. Once they pair up, they could be the strike partnership that Allardyce needs to get fans back on his side in East London.

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