Five players Slaven Bilic should target at West Ham this summer

And so the Slaven Bilic era at West Ham United is in full swing, with the club wasting no time in delving into the transfer market by signing Spanish under-21 international Pedro Obiang from Sampdoria.

While opting to replace the reliable-but-unspectacular Sam Allardyce with the temperamental Croat represented a gamble, the Irons prepare for the new season in anticipation as Bilic is entrusted with leading the club into a new and exciting era.

Having already made one summer signing, who else should the new boss look to buy?
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Loic Remy, Chelsea

Loic Remy
With Andy Carroll proving to be an infuriatingly injury-prone and expensive mistake, West Ham need to bring in a striker they can rely on to score goals on a regular basis.

While Diafra Sakho made an excellent start to his Irons career last season, the Senegalese attacker faded badly in the second half of the campaign, and the Boleyn Ground outfit aren’t blessed with great strength in depth up front. There has been talk of Demba Ba – who worked under Bilic at Besiktas – returning to West Ham, but at 30 years of age it would not represent a long-term signing.

The Hammers need to aim higher in the form of Loic Remy; the Chelsea man is a prolific goalscorer and would make an excellent addition to the West Ham strikeforce.

He is expected to leave Stamford Bridge this summer; if the Irons are serious about making the step up to the next level ahead of their Olympic Stadium move, then they should seriously consider a bid.

Alen Halilovic, Barcelona

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Kevin Nolan, for all his hardwork and loyalty, does not represent West Ham’s future.

Scoring just one Premier League goal last season – his lowest return for the club – the 32-year-old attacking midfielder is approaching the twilight years of his career, and could very well be on the way out this summer.

Bilic needs to think ahead, and securing the services of Barcelona’s Alen Halilovic would be a hugely exciting, if somewhat risky signing.

The 18-year-old was regarded as one of world football’s brightest prospects when he was snapped up by the Catalan club last year, and if given the opportunity to showcase his talents on a regular basis on a loan deal, he could shine at West Ham.

The fact that the teenager shares the same nationality as Bilic certainly helps, while Barca and the Hammers have recently enjoyed positive business relations, with Alex Song switching Camp Nou for Upton Park for a year last season.

Glen Johnson, unattached

Glen Johnson
Carl Jenkinson’s loan spell at West Ham expired at the end of the season, meaning the Irons are short of a right-back.

Making a move for Glen Johnson is a no-brainer; released by Liverpool last week, the 30-year-old remains a very useful player and until relatively recently was England’s first-choice in the right-back berth.

He may be a little too inclined to surge forward at times, but he has experience of playing at the top level. He also began his career at West Ham, meaning a return to the Academy of Football could appeal to the player.

Yohan Cabaye, PSG

Cabaye
Although Hammers favourite Mark Noble enjoyed yet another excellent and criminally underrated campaign last year, there is still the sense that West Ham are weak in central midfield, especially with Alex Song returning to his parent club Barcelona.

Bilic needs to target a player who can thrive alongside Noble in the middle of the park, and he should look no further than Cabaye. Technically excellent and Newcastle’s lynchpin during his time at St James’s Park, the Frenchman has been overlooked since his move to Paris Saint-Germain in 2014.

The 29-year-old needs to revive his career; Bilic and West Ham could be the ones to make this happen.

Ron Vlaar, Aston Villa

Ron Vlaar
While Winston Reid performed superbly in the heart of the Irons defence last season, fellow centre-backs James Tomkins and James Collins are susceptible to the odd injury, meaning another addition in this position would be welcome at Upton Park.

Ron Vlaar’s contract at Villa Park expires in July, making him an affordable and low-risk option.

 


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