West Ham United boss Sam Allardyce is growing frustrated with his lack of success in signing defensive cover in the January transfer window and is coming to realise that the club may have to pay out transfer fees if they are to find the right man.

West Ham’s defensive frailty has been exposed in recent weeks as first choice defenders James Collins and Joey O’Brien have both been sidelined, and Allardyce has made signing defensive cover a priority before the end of January, but has had little success so far.

“We’re not making as good progress as I would have liked,” said Allardyce to football betting news reporters. “It has been hugely frustrating. We’ve been trying in the whole of the window to try and bring in a defender, but not been able to clinch a deal yet.”

Having already signed Marouane Chamakh and Andy Carroll on loan this season, Allardyce has filled his domestic loan quota and has been forced into looking abroad or to consider looking at permanent moves. “I think at this stage of the window everybody wants to, if they are going to release a player, let him go on a permanent basis, not on a short-term loan basis,” Allardyce added. “I think that will probably change as the window gets closer to closing and hopefully we will be more successful in our plight to get a defender in at that stage.”

West Ham have certainly exceeded expectations so far this season after many punters had bet on premier league relegation at the start of the season.

They have built much of their success on solid defence, but perhaps their recent run of patchy form should come as no surprise. With a packed run of Christmas fixtures it is no wonder the Big Sam’s paper thin squad has started to show signs of fatigue. If Allardyce can bring in another couple of fresh faces at the back then West Ham could still work towards a top half finish, if, however, his existing defenders are made to play on without cover then they could easily start to slide down the table.

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