Alan's Striker Search

ALAN Pardew has admitted he is still on the look-out for a striker to bolster his attacking options.

Pards explained: "I'm confident we will sign a striker by the close of the transfer window.

"We have two or three lines we are pursuing and at the moment I'm just looking at the situation and deciding which avenues to pursue.

"Obviously the market is evolving and moving all the time, which is an important factor, because at this stage of the season it is not just us who are looking for a striker.

"There is Everton, Bolton and probably Manchester City and also Arsenal who are also looking to sign a striker. From our point of view it's important that we bring in the best player available and make sure that the player has the ability to improve our team."

This week Pards did secure the signing of Manchester United player David Bellion on a season-long loan and the Hammers boss believes the 22-year-old Frenchman will bring an extra dimension to his squad.

"I brought in David primarily to play on the right side of midfield," explained Alan, "which we feel is the best position for his qualities. He is very quick and likes to go past players and he'll be a fantastic addition to the squad.

"He can also play through the middle and will certainly give us an extra option in that area, however he has not been brought in as a front-line striker and we are still looking to strengthen in that position.

"David has been injured and will arrive at the Club on Monday to finish his treatment with us. He is probably two weeks away from playing in a Reserve game and so three to four weeks away from full fitness."

Bellion will come into a squad brimming with exciting young players who are determined to make their mark in the Premiership this season. With the recent news that Marlon Harewood has just extended his contract at Upton Park it means Pards is building a strong, young core to the West Ham United squad.

"We've got some very promising young players in the team," said Pards, "who are suggesting that they can make the step up to the next level.

"Some managers advised me against bringing in young players to get West Ham United out of the Championship, but we did it and now the Club is reaping the reward in the Premier League. 

"It's great to have our young players signed to the Club and David Bellion will add to the pace and power we already have in the squad.