West Ham boss Slaven Bilic has been told he needs to all but rebuild his stuttering side ahead of next season’s Premier League campaign.

Hammers legend Tony Cottee reckons the crop of recruits brought in last summer have failed to ignite the London Stadium outfit’s season and he is backed up by the fact that they are currently 11th in the standings with 33 points.

West Ham suffered defeats in their previous two top flight matches at Bournemouth and at home to Chelsea before that; those results came after two draws, against West Bromwich Albion and then Watford.

Cottee, who scored 146 goals in 336 appearances over two spells at Upton Park, has surveyed the performances and stated that he thinks big changes are in order. Next up for West Ham are champions Leicester City, fresh from qualifying for the last eight in the Champions League.

And Cottee told the Newham Recorder: “After the disappointment of most of the signings last summer, West Ham need to take stock and, if not rebuild the team this summer, certainly bring plenty in.”

Cottee also believes that the criticism aimed at the coach for playing Cheikhou Kouyate out of position at right-back is a little unfair, but the ex-England striker adds that “he is a strong enough player to play” there.

He added: “It is clear that Bilic has a problem with playing Sam Byram there and one of his priorities in the summer will be to bring a new man in, but in the meantime, Cheikhou can do a job there, though we lose a bit from him not being in the middle of the park.”

Looking to the home fixture this weekend, Cottee, a former Foxes attacker, said: “It will be a tough game as they are confident, have won two on the trot and they also superbly won their Champions League last 16 match on Tuesday night.

“I think West Ham are pretty much safe even now. They perhaps need a couple more wins so we can reach that mythical 40-point mark, which you very rarely need to stay up these days. Once we have got there then perhaps we can give a few of the youngsters a chance.”

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