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West Ham bolster midfield with Kouyate

ESPN staff
June 18, 2014
Cheikhou Kouyate arrives in the Premier League from Belgian champions Anderlecht © Getty Images

West Ham have signed Senegal midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate from Anderlecht for a fee reported to be around £7 million.

Kouyate has penned a four-year deal and becomes the club's second summer addition following the move for Argentine striker Mauro Zarate.

Speaking to the West Ham TV, the 24-year-old vowed to prove himself in the Premier League as Sam Allardyce's side look forward to a season where the club's hierarchy have vowed to promote a more attractive brand of football.

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"West Ham have given me the chance to play in the Premier League, so I am very happy to join such a club and that gives me great pleasure," Kouyate said.

"I know a few players who were also at the club, [Carlos] Tevez, Demba [Ba], Andy Carroll, who was obviously here last season. West Ham are a team who are known and who are going to help me to progress.

"For my part, I am going to try to do great things here and try to improve further still as a player. That I am here now is thanks to the manager, because he went out of his way, leaving his holiday for me, so he has done everything he could for me to join the club.

"He, my advisers and agents helped me make the right decision and said West Ham was the ideal club for me, because as a kid I dreamed of playing in the Premier League and now it is here that my dream has been realised."

West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan suggested this was the first of many signings he is working on, as he again vowed to improve on the displays of last season that were unpopular with the club's fans.

"We are determined to have a better season this year and this signing is a statement of the direction the club is heading in," Sullivan said. "We hope to have at least four more signings in place by the time we kick-off against Tottenham on August 16 as we aim for at least a top-10 finish this season."

Joint-chairman David Gold joined Sullivan in suggesting this signing was further evidence that the club was eager to move the club forward in a more attractive fashion.

''We have looked at what went wrong last season and we have acted upon it," Gold said. "With everyone fit and firing for the first game, I am confident we have got a great season to look forward to.''

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