Simone Zaza and Slaven Bilic
Simone Zaza was one of a host of new players that failed to impress under Slaven Bilic in 2016-17

West Ham United will require a maximum of only two to three signings in order to become a force to be reckoned with in the Premier League next season, according to the club's director of player recruitment.

The ambitious Hammers endured a notably poor summer window last year, with a number of their 12 senior signings – including the likes of Arthur Masuaku, Alvaro Arbeloa, Havard Nordtveit, Simone Zaza, Sofiane Feghouli, Jonathan Calleri and Gokhan Tore – failing to impress. Striker Andre Ayew scored just six goals following a club-record £20.5m ($26.6m) switch from Swansea City, while winter arrivals Jose Fonte and Robert Snodgrass also struggled to register much of an impact.

Such disappointing business contributed to a difficult and injury-plagued maiden campaign for West Ham following their high-profile move from Upton Park to the London Stadium.

The club, who finished seventh in 2015-16, sat in the relegation zone as late as December and lost playmaker Dimitri Payet during the following month before serious questions emerged regarding the future of manager Slaven Bilic. They eventually recovered somewhat to finish 11th, outside the top 10 on goal difference only.

Bilic's short-term future now appears to be secured heading into the final year of his contract and he is believed to have held positive talks with co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan on Monday (22 May). The Croatian, rumoured to be targeting four new players, recently spoke of a desire to target quality over quantity in the coming months and Henry clearly agrees that another raft of additions is not necessary.

"We need two or three, maximum," he said in an interview with the official West Ham website. "If we can get the ones that we want, I think we'll be a really good team next year."


Speaking on the attraction of a stadium that continues to divide opinion among supporters, he added: "Obviously London is a massive thing for players, but obviously the new stadium, players come and they love it. I remember when we brought Jose Fonte in in January, he just said the stadium was brilliant. When he played for Southampton here, he said he thought it was fantastic. It's a massive pull."

West Ham have been linked with several players of late, a list that includes Manchester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho, Swansea City linchpin Gylfi Sigurdsson, Chelsea title-clincher Michy Batshuayi and former Hammer Jermain Defoe. Veteran Argentine right-back Pablo Zabaleta is expected to be confirmed as their first summer signing on a two-year deal this week having mutually agreed not to extend his stay at Manchester City.