herald

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Bilic covets Defoe over bid for Irish ace Hogan

Jermain Defoe
Jermain Defoe
Brentford’s Scott Hogan

Slaven Bilic believes Jermain Defoe would be the answer to West Ham's goalscoring problems.

The Hammers are understood to be trying to lure their former striker back to the club from Sunderland to boost their firepower.

Defoe left West Ham 13 years ago after they were relegated from the Premier League, but could be set for a return this January if joint-chairman David Sullivan gets his way.

He may now be 34, but Defoe has shown he has lost none of his goalscoring prowess, having scored 11 times for struggling Sunderland already this season.

Bilic said: "The chairman is trying really hard to get some players, if it's going to be possible, in positions we think we need. I'm not going to talk about names in public.

"(Defoe) has the things that are the most important in a football games - that's goals. He scored them last season, he was probably the main reason they stayed up, and then he continues to do the same this season, scoring again.

"In every game he is having chances and most of the chances he is converting into goals. He is an excellent player, of course."

Another forward on Bilic's radar is Brentford hot-shot Scott Hogan, who has hit 14 goals in the Championship this term.

"Scott is a good player, I've watched him a few times," added Bilic.

"He is scoring goals, he is very sharp, very quick, and a really good finisher. He does it in the Championship. He is really young, a really good prospect.

"But Hogan is not on our roster so that is it, basically."

Contract

One striker who will not be wearing the claret and blue again is Simone Zaza.

The loan signing from Juventus has a clause in his contract stating West Ham must pay £20million to sign him permanently if he plays 14 Premier League matches.

Given that Zaza has not scored a single goal, or even looked like coming close to doing so, in his 12 appearances so far, Bilic has confirmed the Italy international's Hammers career is over.

"Because of his contract, I can say that his story with West Ham is finished," said Bilic.

"He is still our player until the moment he goes somewhere, but because of the situation with his contract, that's it with West Ham basically.

"These things happen in football. He is definitely a good player and we had a big expectations of him, but it just wasn't to be."

Promoted articles

Entertainment News