David Moyes will dip into the January transfer market to deal with West Ham’s growing defensive injury list.
Kurt Zouma is the latest casualty after suffering a hamstring tendon injury during Saturday’s 3-2 win over Chelsea, a major blow for Moyes after fellow centre-half Angelo Ogbonna was ruled out for the season.
“Kurt has been very good for us. Everybody has been impressed. He has the experience from Chelsea and he’s a big miss,” said Moyes.
“But other players helped us get into Europe last year. They are ready to play. Hopefully they will be good.
“We have been looking to add to the forward players. We tried in the summer for a forward but there was nothing. Now we have to consider looking for a defender if possible.
“I’ll see what we think the recovery time of players coming back is as well, that could have an influence on whether we need to take somebody immediately or if we think we can wait a bit later in January.”
West Ham’s rise to fourth in the Premier League has made them a more attractive proposition for transfer targets, according to Moyes.
“I’ve got plenty of top agents putting good players to me. That tends to be a sign that people are beginning to think you’re attractive,” he added.
“I think West Ham is a huge club in London, if we can keep up this level. We’ve got more international players in the team than before. I hope that we’re growing and improving.”
With full-backs Aaron Cresswell, Ben Johnson and Ryan Fredricks also injured, Moyes will field a raw defence against Dinamo Zagreb in their final Europa League group match.
The Hammers are already through as group winners so Moyes need not risk his only fit senior centre-halves – Craig Dawson and Issa Diop.
Instead youngsters such as Aji Alese, Harrison Ashby and Jamal Baptiste will get their big chance at the London Stadium.
“We will play some young players. I’m really looking forward to giving some of them their debuts. I’m so keen for them to do well,” added Moyes.
“But we will have a lot of senior players involved as well.”
Moyes was also quizzed about the possibility of Covid vaccine passports being introduced at matches.
He said: “I know that people have a right to make their own choices and I respect that.
“But I actually think it’s something now which we would seriously have to consider because if I was a supporter I really would want to go to a game next to someone who I knew had been vaccinated.”
Dinamo Zagreb need a point in London to pip Belgian side Genk to second place in Group H.
Coach Zeljko Kopic said: “Our goal is to go forward into the next stage of the competition.
“We are prepared for this match. There is a lot at stake and our task is to get the result we want to achieve.”