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Controversy as Real enter Pogba race

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Allardyce: Money well spent on Nolan

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce believes his club's owners are now reaping the rewards for financing the move to bring free-scoring Kevin Nolan to Upton Park last year.

Nolan has already scored three goals as the Hammers have enjoyed a steady start to life back in the top flight, silencing the critics who were not always on his side last season and justifying Allardyce's faith in the player he first worked with at Bolton.

"Kevin is value for money in the Premier League, but he was a very expensive player to sign in the Championship, so give credit to David Sullivan and David Gold for spending that money on that sort of player," Allardyce said.

"Look at his CV. He has scored ten goals, nine goals, 11 goals, nine goals in the Premier League year after year. He is a player who no one should under-estimate as his record is first class.

"He reminds me of David Platt in some ways as he ghosts into the box and no one realises he is there until the ball is in the net. Kevin is a top player."

Nolan scored West Ham's late equaliser to salvage a point in the 1-1 draw against Sunderland on Saturday, with Allardyce feeling content with the quality and depth of his squad as he plots a season of consolidation in the Premier League.

"Looking at the squad here, we have a good chance of doing well if we can keep them all fit and keep them playing to their best," he added.

"We have a lot of lads on the bench frustrated that they are not getting a game, so we have some depth to the group, which is always important."

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