Former Scotland international Charlie Nicholas believes West Ham United still need to add another centre-back to their squad.

The Hammers have had a good summer in the transfer market, bringing in goalkeeper Joe Hart, right-back Pablo Zabaleta, attacking midfielder Marko Arnautovic and striker Javier Hernandez.

However, manager Slaven Bilic has chosen not to make any additions to his centre-backs and says his transfer spending for the summer is complete.

With James Collins, Jose Fonte, Doneil Henry, Angelo Ogbonna and Winston Reid currently his options, he feels he has enough cover for this key position, even though Reid was recently linked with a move away from the club.

Moreover, with youngsters Reece Burke and Reece Oxford out on loan, he also has an eye on those likely to take up the position in the future.

Nicholas, who represented Aberdeen, Arsenal, Celtic and Clyde during his playing career, takes a different view.

“I do think they need somebody else at the back, they can’t keep relying on James Collins to come in,” he told Sky Sports.

He added that too often last season, defensive errors let the Hammers down, and Bilic needs to rectify that ahead of the new Premier League campaign.

“They need to be harder to beat. They were thrashed too many times last season, especially in London,” Nicholas said.

“It was embarrassing how they turned up against Tottenham to stop them winning the title because that sort of performance was so uncharacteristic given the way they rolled over against the other top sides.”

West Ham finished last season in 11th place, recovering after making a poor start to life in the London Stadium.

However, problems in defence manifested themselves on a regular basis, and although Bilic has not signed any central defenders, the moves for the experienced Hart and Zabaleta will go some way to shoring up the backline.

He will also be expecting Arnautovic and Hernandez to provide the Hammers with more of an attacking threat than last season and ease the pressure on his defence.


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