Would this 6 ft 4 in Championship hitman be ideal Carroll alternative for West Ham?

Aston Villa's Rudy Gestede misses a chance to score

Aston Villa's out-of-favour striker could be the ideal back-up for West Ham's injury-prone Andy Carroll.

Andy Carroll moved to West Ham on a permanent deal from Liverpool in June 2013 for a then club record £15 million, but the injury-prone striker has gone on to make just 38 Premier League starts for the club during that period.

There is no denying Carroll's positive influence on the Hammers side when he is fit and firing, and there is arguably not a striker in the league who possesses better aerial ability than the 27-year-old former Newcastle United and Liverpool man.

A huge problem for Slaven Bilic, when Carroll in unavailable for selection, is that his side desperately lack any kind of aerial threat, and their play becomes very much one dimensional.

West Ham's Andy CarrollWest Ham's Andy Carroll

West Ham should target a striker over the January transfer window who possesses a similar physique to that of Carroll, and an ideal target would be Aston Villa's Rudy Gestede.

Villa boss Steve Bruce has already talked up the strength that he possesses in the forward department, and with up to seven strikers amongst their first-team squad, they could surely be tempted into selling Gestede, should the Hammers make a fair offer.

Aston Villa's Rudy Gestede celebrates scoring their second goalAston Villa's Rudy Gestede celebrates 

The 28-year-old Benin international has cored 49 goals in 166 league appearances during his time in England, but it is his all-round game, and how he brings others into play, that would be of huge vale to the West Ham side.

Should Bilic make a move for the Villa man, he could be used in a variety of roles.

He could be used as a back-up option, who could be thrown into the mix when, and if, a Plan B is needed. Or he could be used from the start against bigger sides, where his physical presence would be an asset at both ends of the pitch.

Gestede's contract at Villa Park doesn't expire until the summer of 2020, but a reasonable offer from the Hammers in January would surely tempt the Villans into selling.

Aston Villa's Rudy Gestede in actionAston Villa's Rudy Gestede in action

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