West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce has assured supporters the club will seek to cure their striker crisis in the January transfer window after revealing the club missed out on signing four attackers in the summer, including Chelsea pair Romelu Lukaku and Demba Ba.
Andy Carroll hasn't played this season as the England international continues to recover from a foot injury picked up on the final day of last term, and the Hammers have been short of options in attack.
With Modibo Maiga the only recognised forward at Upton Park, West Ham were forced to sign Carlton Cole and Mladen Petric on temporary deals but having failed to score in seven of their 13 league games this season Allardyce's side are in desperate need of additional resources.
Carroll has returned to full training ahead of his imminent return but Allardyce, writing in his programme notes prior to the 3-0 win over Fulham, says a new forward is a priority regardless of the 24-year-old's fitness having missed out on four players in the off-season.
"A lot has been said and written about our forward situation, so I want to set the record straight," the West Ham boss wrote.
"During the August transfer window, we tried to sign four front players - Romelu Lukaku, Loic Remy, Demba Ba and Marko Arnautovic. Three of them opted to go elsewhere, for whatever reason, while one stayed where he is now. We made attempts to bring all of them to the club, but unfortunately we didn't manage it.
"We have already made our preparations ahead of the market opening again in January and, whether Andy Carroll and our other strikers are fit or not, we will be looking to bring in reinforcements in that area."
Such has been West Ham's issues in attack that Mohamed Diame has often been deployed as a striker while the onus has been on Ravel Morrison, Joe Cole and Kevin Nolan for goals from midfield.