West Ham have joined the list of clubs having a difficult start this year, with their first choice striker Andy Carroll sidelined for at least six weeks.

West Ham enjoyed a brilliant season last term, finishing in sixth position, after blowing a chance to move up higher the standings towards the end of the season.

Carroll hasn’t been in top form for years, but scoring crucial goals made the Hammers retain him this long. Since the 2010/2011 season, Carroll hasn’t scored more than single digits for West Ham. Last campaign, his goals were crucial but still didn’t exceed nine after 27 games played. The 27-year old England international picked up an injury during the 1-1 draw to Romanian champions Astra Giurgiu in the Europa League play off.

“Hopefully, it will be four weeks,” coach Slaven Bilic said trying to console himself.

“It’s nothing major, but it’s very sad for him and us. It’s a big problem for us without him. We’re counting on him big time,” he added. West Ham would have to make a quick signing before the transfer market closes, as their marquee signing of the summer Andre Ayew picked up a four months thigh injury on his first game. The £20 million signing holds the club’s record transfer fee.

There’s Aaron Cressweel, Manuel Lanzini and Sofiane Feghouli injured as well, leaving West Ham struggling early despite the high hopes coming from the last campaign. Star signing of the last term, Dimitri Payet is still regaining full match fitness after his major involvement helping France reach the finals of the Euro 2016. For Carroll, he has spent about half of his time at the club injured. This might be the last straw that breaks the camel’s back if he doesn’t return to score enough goals this season.