Allardyce keen to resurrect O’Brien’s career and sign Campbell
PUBLISHED: 18:00 15 July 2011
West Ham boss impressed with former Bolton midfielder
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has confirmed that he is keen to bring in former Bolton Wanderers midfielder Joey O’Brien.
The 25-year-old, who is currently on trial at the club, played 45 minutes in the Hammers’ opening pre-season game against BSC Young Boys, that ended in a 2-1 defeat.
However, Allardyce was impressed with what he saw and is convinced that the midfielder can be a crucial player as West Ham prepare for life in the Championship.
“He is an outstanding player,” Allardyce told the Advertiser from Switzerland this week.
“For someone to play 28 times in the Premier League at the age of 19 showsthat he has a lot of talent and if he is fit then he could be a very good player for us.”
Fitness has been a major issue in O’Brien’s short career so far, and with the midfielder’s recent seasons plagued with injuries, the Republic of Ireland international finished last season on loan to League One side Sheffield Wednesday.
“He has to prove his fitness,” added Allardyce.
“He has had a very frustrating time with injuries over the last two-and-a-half years because he was misdiagnosed and then didn’t receive the right treatment.
“But it was good to see him come through 45 minutes on Monday without any reaction and now we will just have to see how it foes with him.
“We have him until the end of pre-season before we have to make a decision.”
Another signing that Allardyce is keen to complete is that of Blackpool striker DJ Campbell.
The 29-year-old, who scored 13 goals in 31 appearances for the Seasiders last season had been attracting interest from Premier League new boys QPR, but could be persuaded to head West Ham’s push for promotion to the top flight.
The Hammers put in a bid for the striker a couple of weeks ago, and the ball is very much now in Campbell’s court as he considers his options.
Last week, Allardyce revealed that he is in the market for a new striker, with Demba Ba having already moved on to Newcastle, and Carlton Cole on the brink of a transfer to Stoke City.