Allardyce admires Everton dealings
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce admits he has been impressed with Everton's transfer dealings and is anticipating a stern test when Roberto Martinez's side visit Upton Park on Saturday.
The Toffees may have lost midfielder Marouane Fellaini to Barclays Premier League champions Manchester United but they also made busy with their own chequebook as the transfer deadline drew nearer.
Former Wigan boss Martinez replaced David Moyes at Goodison Park and went back to his old club to sign James McCarthy on deadline day, with loan deals for Gareth Barry and Romelu Lukaku also completed before the window shut.
Those deals followed earlier moves for Arouna Kone, Antolin Alcaraz, Joel Robles and Gerard Deulofeu with Allardyce, who revealed West Ham had failed with a bid for Lukaku, left praising Everton's business.
"Gareth Barry in particular is an outstanding acquisition from Manchester City and with Romelu Lukaku joining their frontline as well he's given them some excellent options," he said.
"They've got a very good variety of players added to the ones that were already there.
"Arouna Kone has been bought in and they've only really lost Marouane Fellaini so not only is their starting XI strong but their whole squad is now very strong."
Allardyce remains short of attacking options.
Andy Carroll (heel) is proving to be a big loss for the misfiring Hammers whilst the game comes too soon for new signing Mladen Petric, who is still striving to improve his fitness.
Joe Cole (hamstring) and Stewart Downing (leg) are also missing, as is defender George McCartney who has returned to training following a knee injury, while Alou Diarra (knee) is a long-term absentee.
Loan signing Romelu Lukaku is set for his Everton debut having been ineligible for last weekend's fixture against parent club Chelsea.
"I have been very impressed with Romelu," said Martinez.
"We have seen him develop into a top striker from the outside: at 16 he came through the ranks at Anderlecht and all of a sudden you can see the potential.
"When you get to work with him you can see he is a very mature boy after his experiences.
"He is really intelligent with good football knowledge and above everything he has a huge desire to succeed and that is exactly what we need in the dressing room.
"What he brings is something we haven't got and that always excites you as a manager.
"Looking at what he did last season (scoring 17 in 35 appearances) he is capable of working and improving on that.
"That is our target. He is still very young and we hope it can be a perfect marriage over the next 10 months."
Lukaku's fellow striker Arouna Kone is also expected to return to the squad after a knee injury along with midfielder Darron Gibson, who has not featured this season because of a knee injury.
Midfielder Steven Pienaar (hamstring) is rated 50-50 but centre-back Antolin Alcaraz is still recovering from a similar problem.