West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic has demanded the club complete the signing of five new players before the end of the summer transfer window in order to cope with the demands of the new season. Victory over NK Domzale in their first match at their new London Stadium home (formerly Olympic Stadium) saw the Hammers add to their early season schedule and go within two matches of the Europa League group stage.
The east London outfit must now negotiate a two-legged play-off tie against Romanian side Astra Giurgiu, who knocked Bilic's side out at the third qualifying stage last season, to take their place in the competition proper which will add at least six more games to their fixture list. Those European ambitions must be juggled with the start of the domestic season which sees them face Chelsea, Bournemouth and Manchester City in their first three Premier League games in August.
Despite making five new additions during the summer transfer window Bilic has complained his squad is not big enough to cope with the rigours of the Premier League season and the Europa League. The Croat has called on West Ham co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan to complete a host of deals between now and the end of the summer window on 31 August.
"I have no problems saying playing in the Europa League lowers your chances in the Premier League," he said, according to The Evening Standard. "It doesn't matter, we want to try. It brings positive things. You gain something, you lose something. Basically we have five games before the September international break and this squad is not big enough. Hopefully we will have a minimum of five players to add to this squad."
Sullivan revealed at the end of last season West Ham were planning the marquee signing of a striker in the region of £30m, yet Toni Martinez and Ashley Fletcher are the only forward acquisitions made by the club this summer. Diafra Sakho remains at Bilic's disposal after a move to West Bromwich Albion fell through due to a failed medical, and the coach is willing to use the Senegal forward despite his uncertain future.
"I don't know any details," the West Ham boss added. "He's our player, he's contracted to us, and could be a great player. That's all I can say about it. I am a bit sorry for him and a bit surprised that he didn't pass the medical. He's a good player, he's our player and as long as he is our player he is very capable. He's a quality player."