Bilic hails experienced Arbeloa as the ‘perfect option’

Joe Williams

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic says former Liverpool defender Alvaro Arbeloa was the “perfect option” to supplement his squad.

The Spaniard signed a one-year deal with the Hammers on a free transfer after being released by Real Madrid at the end of the last campaign.

Arbeloa can play at either right-back or left-back, but he will mainly be used to provide competition for Sam Byram and Michail Antonio on the right-hand side.

Bilic is looking forward to seeing how the 33-year-old performs this season and admits it was a no-brainer with the defender’s experience of winning trophies.

“His CV is top of course,” Bilic said of Arbeloa. “He was at Liverpool so he knows the Premier League.

“He had 10 years at Real Madrid and won everything. We were looking to strengthen that position, at least short-term and he was available and simply the perfect option for what we needed.

“We watched a lot of Real Madrid games like everybody else and he’s a great professional, a player of great experience and I’m sure he’s going to help us a lot.

“Make no mistake, he’s coming here as a player, not as a mentor, not as a coach.”