Slaven Bilic admits West Ham’s bench against Liverpool convinced him to complete four deadline day signings

Slaven Bilic

West Ham signed four players on transfer deadline day.

Speaking to the Standard, Slaven Bilic has revealed when he knew he needed new signings, having seen the state of his substitutes bench in the 3-0 victory over Liverpool.

The Croatian boss said: “All four, Victor Moses, Michail Antonio, Nikica Jelavic and Alex Song, were targets of ours, they are the players we need and playing in the positions where we were really short. You only needed to look at the average age of our bench at Anfield to see how much we needed players. The others said that Matt Jarvis, who was another substitute and who I wish every good fortune on his loan at Norwich, was baby-sitting!”

Bilic has admitted that it was during that victory over Liverpool in which he decided to see through all the signings which the Hammers completed on deadline day.

Antonio, Jelavic, Moses and Song are all top class players who improve Bilic’s first-team squad, and it was because of the substitutes bench at Anfield which convinced the deals to go through.

The bench he named for that 3-0 win was one full of youth, and which lacked quality throughout. Matt Jarvis - who left the club on deadline day for Norwich - was the only senior player selected, and it was clear Bilic did not want him at the club.

The second-most senior player was Reece Oxford, who is still only 16-years-old. The likes of Elliot Lee, Martin Samuelsen and Josh Cullen were also selected, but none of them are anywhere near close enough to playing consistent first-team action.

Rather than persevering with that squad, Bilic decided to hit the transfer market hard on the last day of the window, and he has brought in quality all over the pitch to not only improve his first-team squad, but to ensure that his entire matchday selection is full of players ready for the rigours of the Premier League.

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