Slaven Bilic has told West Ham chiefs he needs to bolster his squad further as the club face a hectic schedule.
The Hammers could face five matches by the end of August after earning a place in the Europa League play-offs courtesy of a 3-0 win over NK Domzale in the first match to be played at the Olympic Stadium.
Bilic was already without Euro 2016 stars Dimitri Payet, James Collins and Angelo Ogbonna, as well as injured duo Aaron Cresswell and Manuel Lanzini, forcing him to name several young players on the bench.
And the former Croatia boss has expressed the need to dip into the transfer market before their Premier League opener against Chelsea a week on Monday, with a left-back and a striker the priorities.
“I have no problems saying playing in the Europa League lowers your chances in the Premier League,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter, we want to try. It brings positive things. You gain something, you lose something. Basically we have five games before the September international break and this squad is not big enough.
“Hopefully we will have a minimum of five players to add to this squad.”
One player who may be staying at the club is Diafra Sakho, whose proposed move to West Brom fell through on Thursday over concerns about the striker’s fitness.
“I don’t know any details. I’m a bit surprised with that. He’s our player, he’s contracted to us and could be a great player. That’s all I can say about it,” Bilic added.
“I am a bit sorry for him and a bit surprised that he didn’t pass the medical. He’s a good player, he’s our player and as long as he is our player he is very capable. He’s a quality player.”