West Ham boss Slaven Bilic says young defenders will be sent out on loan after Ogbonna capture

Upton Park

West Ham United boss Slaven Bilic says 'one or two' of his young defenders will be sent out on loan this season after he landed key target Angelo Ogbonna.

West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic has hinted on the club's website that some youngsters may go out on loan following the club's move for Angelo Ogbonna.

The Hammers have been busy this summer and completed the signing of the Italy international centre back from Juventus last week.

There is no doubt the 27-year-old adds much needed quality to a West Ham squad which will also compete in Europe this season.

But some fans have questioned whether defensive reinforcements were needed given the crop of exciting youngsters coming through the club's famous Academy.

"We now have the numbers and the quality so maybe some, one or two, will go on loan or whatever," he told whufc.com.

"But we really needed (Ogbonna) to have competition and to have a real strength there where it is maybe the most important (area of the team) for the whole season."

Bilic, a defender of some repute himself by trade, said he was 'thrilled' a player of Ogbonna's quality agreed to come to east London and is expecting big things from the former Torino man.

Loan surprise?

While going out on loan is par for the course for most youngsters coming through at Premier League clubs in this day and age, Bilic's revelation that he is likely to send the likes of Reece Burke, Reece Oxford, Doneil Henry or Lewis Page out on loan may come as something of a surprise to fans.

That's because so far most of those players have been well utilised in the Europa League, which could add as many as 23 games to West Ham's calendar if they go all the way.

The likes of Burke have also excelled since breaking into the Hammers first team squad at the tail end of last season.

One thing it does show is how seriously the club is taking European competition with Winston Reid, James Collins, James Tomkins and now Ogbonna all likely to be rotated.

Right to be cautious

Bilic is also right to be somewhat cautious when it comes to his strength in depth at the back.

In the last two seasons West Ham have picked up multiple injuries in that department which has hampered their progress.

The Upton Park faithful will now be hoping Bilic adopts the same policy to the striking department ahead of the big Premier League kick off on August 9th.

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