Transfer Focus: Bilic decision means West Ham must target a right-back

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has revealed that former Real Madrid man Alvaro Arbeloa, who joined the club on a season-long deal last summer, will not be kept on after Sunday’s Premier League finale against Burnley.

What’s the word?

Hammers boss Bilic was pressed heavily on transfer rumours in his final pre-match press conference of the season this week, and having announced that shot-stopper Adrian is set for another year in east London, confirmed that two-time Champions League winner Arbeloa would not be handed an extension.

Bilic told reporters from London Evening Standard,

“Arbeloa is a different situation [to Adrian].

“He came for one season and his contract is out now. But of course I am going to discuss those things with the players, not with the press.”

The news will not come as a surprise to many, with the 34-year-old having played just four games for the Irons all season, and his most notable appearance being in an East End pub, few will have expected to see him handed a new deal.

Bilic must bend to demands

Fans at London Stadium have been on at Bilic all season to add a new right-back to his squad, with former Leeds United man Sam Byram still not having done enough to make the berth his own.

With the likes of Michail Antonio and Cheikhou Kouyate both having been deployed there this season, Bilic’s decision to axe Arbeloa must point to his intention to strengthen there over the summer.

The injury woes suffered by West Ham this season have more than highlighted their lack of depth, meaning leaving Byram as the only natural option would be a foolish move from the Croatian boss.