West Ham wary of threat posed by Everton forward Nikica Jelavic

Nikica Jelavic could have joined West Ham

Nikica Jelavic could have joined West Ham when he moved to England and assistant manager Neil McDonald hopes missing out on the striker does not come back to haunt the Hammers when they face Everton tomorrow.

The Croatia international plumped for a move to Everton when he left Rangers at the end of January, completing a move believed to be worth around £5million.

West Ham were in the npower Championship at the time but manager Sam Allardyce still showed a firm interest in acquiring Jelavic, according to McDonald.

McDonald said: "There was a definite interest there and we did speak to him.

"Obviously he went to Everton and scored goals and proved he can play in the Premier League.

"When we saw him at Rangers we thought he could score goals in the Premier League and he's proved that. That's Everton's gain."

Allardyce ultimately led the Hammers back into the Barclays Premier League and since returning to the top flight the club have invested heavily in the likes of Matt Jarvis and the loan signing of Liverpool frontman Andy Carroll.

McDonald admits that missing out on a target such as Jelavic is hard to take, but the 47-year-old, who had a spell at Goodison Park as a player, believes the signing of Carroll makes up for it.

He said: "You are always disappointed when you don't get players who come into the Premier League and do well but we got Andy Carroll so there is a little bit of a pay-off there.

"We are pleased with Andy's contribution so far, even though he has got injured. If you don't get one (target) you try and get another.

"Of course it would (be good to have someone like Jelavic in the squad).

"Everton play a different system. Whoever you bring in has to try to fit in with the dynamics of the team whether they are big or small or indifferent.

"I think he scored goals for fun for Rangers and is an international. He is a goalscorer and that's what we are looking for."

A good start to the season has seen David Moyes guide Everton to sixth place in the table heading into the festive period and McDonald has praised the structure of the Merseyside club.

"I think that they are a model for any club," he said.

"They have showed that with a little bit of finance and a good recruitment policy it is possible to get into the top six and push on towards the top four.

"I would think David is very pleased with where they are right now and they have a good platform going into the second half of the season."

West Ham will welcome Jack Collison back to their squad for the first time since last season's play-off final success against Blackpool.

The Wales international has not played much reserve-team football but is likely to be named on the bench on Saturday due to the long injury list at Upton Park.

The lack of options due to a host of injury problems could see Allardyce look to bring in fresh faces when the transfer window opens in January but McDonald does not envisage a raft of signings.

"Everyone will try to strengthen their squad over January and you can always be greedy and say you want three or four," McDonald said.

"But in reality if we get one or two and we get the injured players back we'll have a much stronger squad. One or two would be great to help the boys out and give that competition for places in the second half of season to try to push on."

Carroll, Ricardo Vaz Te, Mohamed Diame and Alou Diarra all remain sidelined but there is an outside chance on-loan midfielder Yossi Benayoun could return on Saturday.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable