West Ham co-owner David Gold reveals Slaven Bilic is confident he will get the best out of Jelavic

Nikica Jelavic

West Ham United co-owner David Gold says Slaven Bilic pushed them to sign Nikica Jelavic and has vowed to get the best out of the Croatian striker.

West Ham United were one of the busiest clubs on deadline day, and indeed all summer, signing 12 players in total.

Hull City striker Jelavic, Barcelona midfielder Alex Song, Chelsea star Victor Moses and Nottingham Forest's exciting and powerful winger Michail Antonio all signed up on deadline day to bolster a buoyant squad in the wake of a stunning 3-0 win over Liverpool, the club's first victory at Anfield for 52 years.

But of all the club's summer business something of a question mark hangs over the head of Jelavic as many fans had been expecting the club to land a more substantial striker signing.

Now Gold, speaking to TalkSport, has revealed Bilic was adamant he wanted to sign his compatriot having managed him at Hadjuk Split and during his time as Croatia boss.

"He (Bilic) came to us (Gold and fellow co-owner David Sullivan) and said 'Look I like this player and I think I can get more out of him than previous clubs," Gold told TalkSport.

"We had a particular concern earlier in the window and we were short of centre forwards.

"He (Jelavic) was available and Saven said 'I can do a good job (with him), go and get him for me'."

A decent goalscorer at a fair price

While fans have questioned Jelavic's quality, his statistics do stand up to scrutiny.

He is believed to have cost the Hammers around £3 million – as reported by the likes of BBC Sport – and at 30-years-old should still have at least two or three years left in him at the top level.

His goal record across his entire career is almost exactly one in three.

He has 104 goals from 314 career matches for club and country, 30 of which were scored in the Premier League during spells at Everton and Hull.

Croation connection can help Nik click

Jelavic has already told West Ham's official website how much he is looking forward to working with Bilic again, describing him as 'a great manager and a great man'.

Hammers fans are expecting him to be nothing more than a squad player, particularly when Andy Carroll, Enner Valencia and Mauro Zarate are all fit.

But the Hammers faithful also love an underdog and the former Rangers striker could yet surprise a few by cementing his place as a key player in what is the last ever season at the Boleyn Ground.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch