West Ham squad is too small and I need minimum of five new players - Bilic
By Dominic Toner
Slaven Bilic has revealed that he still hopes to make five more signings this summer.
West Ham marked their first competitive game at the Olympic Stadium on Thursday with a 3-0 victory in the Europa League against NK Domzale and manager Bilic is eyeing a larger squad with the busy fixture list coming up.
“I have no problems saying playing in the Europa League lowers your chances in the Premier League,” Bilic told the Evening Standard. “It doesn’t matter, we want to try. It brings positive things. You gain something, you lose something.
“Basically we have five games before the September international break and this squad is not big enough. Hopefully we will have a minimum of five players to add to this squad.”
The Hammers were rewarded with European qualifiers this season after their impressive seventh-placed finish in the Premier League.
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As a result West Ham have already competed twice in the competition and could face a pile up of fixtures if they progress to the latter stages.
Defender Aaron Cresswell was a key player for the club last season but will be absent for up to four months following a knee injury in pre-season, which has prompted Bilic to search for a new left-back.
Inter Milan defender Davide Santon is close to joining the club and could provide an immediate replacement for Cresswell, with Sky Sports claiming that he was completing the second part of his medical test on Thursday afternoon.
Santon, 25, has wide experience of the Premier League after spending four years at Newcastle from 2011 to 2015.
The Mirror reported that West Ham are weighing up a £7million bid for striker Mario Gomez, who scored 26 league goals in 33 games for Turkish side Besiktas last season.
West Ham have already added to their squad with Havard Nordtveit, Sofiane Feghouli, Gokhan Tore, Ashley Fletcher and Manuel Lanzini joining the club.
The Hammers commence their Premier League season with a London clash against Chelsea on 15 August at Stamford Bridge and will hope to complete some transfer deals before then.
In other West Ham transfer news, their fans have reacted on Twitter to Reece Oxford’s performance against Domzale.