Signing Andy Carroll is not the be all and end all for West Ham United, insists Kevin Nolan.
The England international has spent the majority of the season on loan at Upton Park, having linked up from Liverpool towards the end of the summer window. Although the striker has endured injury problems this term, he has still made a big contribution in the Hammers top-ten finish, scoring seven goals and assisting in four more in his 26 games.
Sam Allardyce has made no secret of his desire to keep Carroll, who cost his parent club a record £35million when they signed him from Newcastle United in January 2011. However, he also admits it could be too expensive to sign the 24-year-old, with the Merseyside outfit believed to be holding out for at least half of their outlay before agreeing to let him go.
Nolan, who has struck up a strong friendship with Carroll dating back from their time at St James Park together, would also like to see the player remain in the capital. But the midfielder believes if this is not possible, West Ham can still push on a progress next season.
“It will be massive if we do get Andy, but it is not the be all and end all,” said the 30-year-old. “I have been with Sam a long time. When he did not manage to get his first man, he has always managed to get his second man and we always manage to do well.
“If he gets the chance to bring the quality of the players he wants, then I am sure we will be aiming for the higher echelons of the Premier League. I have a lot of faith that Sam will get the men he wants in the summer and will be working hard with the chairman to do that.”
Nolan, meanwhile, certainly signed off the season in impressive fashion. The former Bolton Wanderers man hit a hat-trick in 4-2 win over Reading on Sunday afternoon, a result which ensured his side ended their return to the top-flight with a tenth place finish.