Harry Redknapp says Slaven Bilic will struggle to finish better than mid-table with West Ham

Former West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur boss Harry Redknapp has backed Slaven Bilic to do well at his old club, but no better than midtable.

Redknapp, who played for and managed West Ham, was speaking to the Express about his hopes for Bilic, a player he signed and sold for the east Londoners back in 1997.

According to The Sun, Bilic has been set a top eight target if he is to receive a bonus on his return to the Boleyn Ground.

Sam Allardyce had taken the Hammers into the top four at Christmas after what was the club's best ever start to a Premier League season - including one where they finished fifth under Redknapp.

But they slid down to finish 12th, meaning the highest they have finished since their return to the top flight in 2012 is 10th.

And Redknapp thinks Bilic will be lucky to better that, saying West Ham will finish around midtable again next season.

“I think West Ham will do very well,” Redknapp told Express Sport.

“I think Slaven will do well there. They’re a team that could finish around about halfway again."

"I think the front two of Sakho and Valencia have got pace and they’re a good team. I think they’ll finish round about 10th."

You finish where you spend

The Hammers have been very active so far this summer bringing in three major signings with the promise of more to come this week.

But Redknapp makes a valid point that the squads and financial muscle of the top seven may prove too difficult a barrier to penetrate.

However, while he feels Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and 'maybe Everton' will make up that top seven he does not feel West Ham have what it takes to challenge them.

The Hammers could be knocking at the door

The club's co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold would disagree, pointing to their pre-2015 form - before injuries hampered their chances - as an indication of the threat the Irons now pose to the elite.

With a suitably beefed up squad and more strength in depth, particularly going forwards, West Ham should be knocking on the door of the top seven or eight this season.

Then with the Olympic Stadium move looming large next summer, it may well be the top four looking over their shoulders in the years to come.

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