Hammers target further signings

Sam Allardyce says West Ham United's summer recruitment drive is far from over.

Big Sam and the Board have already markedly strengthened the Hammers squad by bringing in Argentine forward Mauro Zarate, Senegal midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate, highly-rated left-back Aaron Cresswell and promising midfielder Diego Poyet.

With the new Barclays Premier League campaign a little more than five weeks away, the manager said he still hopes to add three or four more signings before the big kick-off against Tottenham Hotspur.

"I think there are three or four positions - it depends on the budget," the manager told West Ham TV. "You would say there is still room for a young central defender, particularly a left-footed one because we do run with three and not four. Ideally, you would have four.

"You would also say we need another left-back to go along with Aaron and I think a front-line player and the possibility of a midfield player as well."

Diego Poyet

Diego Poyet became the Hammers' fourth summer signing

While the search for new talent goes on, Big Sam hailed the capture of 19-year-old defensive midfielder Poyet from Charlton Athletic.

The teenager burst into the Charlton first team in January 2014 before going on to make 23 appearances and scoop the Addicks' Player of the Season award.

The son of former Chelsea and Uruguay midfielder and current Sunderland manager Gus, Big Sam believes the young Poyet will be able to draw on the experience of being part of a footballing family as he continues with his own development.

"Diego is one of the younger end that we have invested in, based on the information that we've got, and based on the progression he has made in a short period of time," said the manager.

"He has taken that leap into the first team and, all of a sudden, became a big contributor to Charlton last year.

"He's appeared on the scene after working very hard as a youngster and trying to make the grade with a very famous father and always having that to deal with.

"Of course, having a father like Gus, he knows all about the professional side of being a player. He has watched his Dad over the years and sees him as a manager and I think that will have had a massive effect on Diego, know what dedication and commitment is needed to be a footballer.

"I think he has got all that and hopefully that development will continue with us. If he can break into the first team this year, that would be a massive bonus."

Poyet is likely to be handed opportunities to impress during the pre-season schedule. Looking further into the future, Big Sam said his first competitive chance is likely to come in the Capital One Cup.

"Like all the young players, we'll try him out in the pre-season. We may try him out, if he progresses well, in the early stages of the Capital One Cup if the opposition are from a lower division than ourselves.

"That system progressed us to a fantastic run last season to the semi-finals and we nearly made Wembley. It was about playing the young players and trying to play them at very competitive first-team level in the Capital One Cup. He'll get a chance in there and hopefully he can take the chance and move on from there."