“Financial Pressure” played its part in West Ham not signing a striker this January but the loan signing of Jesse Lingard could prove helpful up front.

That is according to finance expert and new Football Insider columnist Kieran Maguire, speaking exclusively after Lingard’s sensational Hammers debut on Wednesday evening.

The 28-year-old got on the scoresheet twice as West Ham beat Aston Villa 3-1 to move into 5th place in the Premier League.

However, fans remain anxious that Michail Antonio is the club’s only out-and-out centre-forward despite West Ham’s efforts to sign another in the January window.

Maguire suggests that budgetary reasons played their part in the club’s failure to sign a striker but that Lingard could prove to be an asset in this area.

He told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams: “First of all, there is financial pressure. The owners have had to put more money in. The club has also borrowed money, so it’s not got spare cash to spend.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“The Jesse Lingard signing has already looked absolutely brilliant. More and more clubs are playing without a striker now that City have proved it can be done.

“So from a financial perspective, he could prove to be quite a shrewd signing in terms of the money they might otherwise have had to spend on a striker.

“And in the current economic climate, it makes sense not to make knee-jerk decisions if you aren’t absolutely sure about the player you’re targeting.”

West Ham have been without a back-up striker since Sebastien Haller left for Ajax in a £20.25m deal earlier in January.

There were mooted deals for Youssef En-Nesyri, Josh King and Edin Dzeko among others but none came to fruition.

In other news, a La Liga expert has said West Ham should monitor the situation of free agent Diego Costa.