Slaven Bilic opens up on pre-season conversation with West Ham midfielder Pedro Obiang

West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic arrives before the game

West Ham United midfielder Pedro Obiang has been hailed by Slaven Bilic.

West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic arrives before the gameWest Ham United manager Slaven Bilic

West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic has told the club's official website that he spoke to midfielder Pedro Obiang about his first-team opportunities over pre-season.

The Hammers beat Crystal Palace 1-0 on Saturday afternoon, with Manuel Lanzini's goal handing Bilic just his second league win of the season.

In a new 3-4-2-1 system, a host of players impressed, and it was another strong performance from midfielder Pedro Obiang.

West Ham United's Pedro Obiang in action with Middlesbrough's George FriendWest Ham United's Pedro Obiang in action with Middlesbrough's George Friend

Obiang, 24, joined the Hammers from Serie A side Sampdoria in the summer of 2015, but started just 11 Premier League games last season as he struggled for first-team football behind the likes of Cheikhou Kouyate and Mark Noble.

Yet, with Kouyate dropping in to play in a three-man defence in this new West Ham system, Obiang now has a role to play alongside Noble in the centre of midfield, and he impressed not only against Crystal Palace, but also against Middlesbrough earlier this month.

West Ham's Pedro Obiang in action with NK Domzale's Mario Lucas HorvatWest Ham's Pedro Obiang in action with NK Domzale's Mario Lucas Horvat

The Spaniard will now expect to nail down a regular place in the West Ham starting line-up, and manager Bilic has given his view on the midfielder.

Bilic told the club's official website that Obiang has had to bide his time for his chance in the first team, and the two even had a conversation over pre-season about his first-team opportunities.

Bilic added that Obiang took his chance against Middlesbrough, and if he continues to play to such a high standard, he will keep his place in the West Ham midfield.

West Ham United manager Slaven BilicWest Ham United manager Slaven Bilic

“Pedro waited for chances,” said Bilic. “I spoke to him in the pre-season and he played 30-odd games for us last season, not always as a starter, and is a great example for everyone.”

“Last time out against Middlesbrough he got the chance and used it really well. If he continues to play like this, the place is his,” he added.

Do you think Obiang should start regularly for West Ham?

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