Tony Cottee says West Ham United must either look within or spend big to solve striker problem

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The former West Ham striker believes the solution to the club's issue up front could be right in front of them.

West Ham's Andy Carroll

Much has been made, both by club officials and in the press, of West Ham United's need to sign a top-class striker in order to kick on next season, but former Hammers hero Tony Cottee has told the club's website that the solution could be right under their nose.

Though the London club enjoyed a much-improved season last term, much of that success was built on the form of midfield maestro Dimitri Payet, who pulled the strings for the majority of the campaign.

One aspect the Hammers appeared to be lacking was a top-class and consistently reliable frontman, with Andy Carrol's nine goals the highest tally racked up by any of the club's attackers.

Diafra Sakho celebrates scoring the second goal for West Ham

Whilst Carroll struggled once again with injury, Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia failed to leave their mark on the season, and it has been suggested that this lack of a regular source of goals was what cost the club a Champions League challenge.

West Ham have been linked with such top European strikers as Alexandre Lacazette since the end of the season and though former striker sensation Cottee believes that the club may have to spend big to solve the problem, he also suggested that 

Cottee, who scored 145 goals in 335 games across two spells with the Hammers, told the club's website: "A lot of people are talking about the search for a new striker but the answer might already be at the club with the forwards we have got.

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"We have Andy Carroll, Diafra Sakho, Enner Valencia and if we had someone who could score 15 goals plus in the league, who knows where we could be. We could have finished in a Champions League spot.

"I think the challenge is on for someone who is already at the club, or to get someone in who will cost £25-30million to score the goals. We need a regular goalscorer and if we get one, it will help us improve on where we finished. The objection for the Club over the next five-years is to progress and to help us do that we need a goalscorer."

One or two of West Ham's strikers did occasionally hint last season at having the ability to be the star the club needs in attack, such as Carroll's fine hat-trick against Arsenal in April.

However, given the standard of club that the Hammers are obviously aspiring to be, it is clear that they need a higher profile man to lead any charge on the top four next term.

West Ham's And Carroll applauds their fans after being substituted

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