West Ham still hunting for left-back

Slaven Bilic West Ham boss

Slaven Bilic West Ham boss - Credit: Archant

Hammers boss: We were looking for left back before Cresswell injury

Arsenal's Kieran Gibbs

Arsenal's Kieran Gibbs - Credit: PA ARCHIVE IMAGES

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic insists that the club were looking for a new left-back even before Aaron Cresswell was ruled out for four months with a knee injury.

The former Ipswich defender who was the Hammer of the Year in his first season at Upton Park, suffered the injury in a crunching tackle against Karlsruher during the pre-season tour in Austria.

And with the worst confirmed, West Ham have been on the search for a replacement.

“It was a priority before he got injured,” said Bilic. “We were looking to strengthen in that position, because that was the one area where we didn’t have options.

Ludwig Augustinsson, Sweden

Ludwig Augustinsson, Sweden - Credit: Empics Sports Photography Ltd.

“He has only missed one game in the two seasons he has been here and then Carl Jenkinson played there.

“We were always looking to bring someone in on the left side to be back up, but also to make competition with ‘Cres’s too, we like to have two players in each position. Now it is more of a priority.”

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West Ham have already had a £3million bid for Norwich City defender Martin Olsson turned down as well as receiving a knock back in their attempt to get Arsenal’s Kieran Gibbs on loan.

One possibility, though, is Sweden under-21 international Ludwig Augustinsson, who plays in Denmark for Copenhagen.

Aaron Cresswell, West Ham United

Aaron Cresswell, West Ham United - Credit: PA ARCHIVE IMAGES

He is said to be valued at £5m, but the question is whether, at 22, he is ready to step up into the Premier League and play an important role in West Ham’s first team.

The latest full back to step into the frame is former Newcastle United man Davide Santon.

The Inter Milan defender, 25, is out of favour at the San Siro, having made just 12 Serie A appearances last season.

He is said to be flying to London for talks with West Ham tomorrow.

“We are not the only ones looking for a left back, everyone is and they are hard to find,” said Bilic.

“Now it is a priority, though we have a few options. Sam Byram, Angelo Ogbonna or even Havard Nordtveit can jump into the position, but it is not ideal.

“We have a few on our lost, but we don’t want to discuss it until they are done.”