Slaven Bilic praises Jermain Defoe and Scott Hogan
By Paul Vinnell
Last Updated: 05/01/17 2:53pm
Slaven Bilic has praised the ability of Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe and confirmed he is an admirer of Brentford's Scott Hogan.
The West Ham boss also confirmed that Italian striker Simone Zaza will not play for the club again, with the Hammers unwilling to activate the clause in his contract which dictates they must buy him permanently from Juventus after he has played a certain amount of games.
"We are not going to discuss the players that are not ours at the moment," Bilic said. "The chairman is trying really hard to get some players, in a position that we need. But I am not going to talk about names here in public."
He did, however, expand on Defoe and Hogan.
On the Sunderland striker, Bilic said: "I said last time that he does the things that are the most important in football; score goals.
"He did that last year and he was probably the main reason Sunderland stayed up. He is doing it again this season, but he is also making chances and making them into goals."
Hogan, 24, has scored 14 goals in 26 appearances this season and Bilic said: "Scott is a good player. I watched him a few times.
"He is, again, scoring goals. He is very sharp, quick. A good finisher - doing it in the Championship, young and a good prospect."
Brentford boss Dean Smith said: "We don't want to lose him but we also know that if people put the sort of numbers being talked about to us, we'd have to listen.
"If Scott was to go then the club would try and get as much as they could because you look at the marketplace at the moment, and the valuations out there, and Scott has outscored a lot of players. We'd prefer him to stay and keep scoring goals here."
Zaza has failed to score in his five Premier League appearances this season and Bilic confirmed West Ham will be looking to offload the Italy international.
"Zaza came to West Ham," he added. "We wanted him and he wanted to come. Maybe his wish was to stay in Italy but because of his contract, I can say that his story with West Ham has finished.
"He is still our player until he goes somewhere, but mainly because of the situation with his contract he is finished here. Nobody knows what happens in football. He is definitely a good player. It just wasn't to be.
"Unfortunately we had to judge him on six, seven games, which is not big amount to judge a player in general."