West Ham have completed the signing of Anderlecht defender Cheikhou Kouyate for an undisclosed fee, thought to be in the region of £7million.

The 24-year-old Senegal international has put pen-to-paper on a four-year deal and becomes the Hammers’ second summer recruit following the arrival of Argentine forward Mauro Zarate.

And the centre-half, who can also play as a defensive midfielder, admits he is delighted to have the chance to perform in the Premier League.

He told the club’s official website “I am very happy, because today West Ham have given me the chance to play in the Premier League.

“So I’m very happy to join such a club and that gives me great pleasure. For my part, I’m going to try to do great things here and try to improve further still as a player.”

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Kouyate also had special thanks for Irons boss Sam Allardyce, who he believes is the main reason why he decided to join the club instead of a number of other interested parties, including Arsenal and Valencia.

“That I’m 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 added.

“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’s here that my dream has been realised.”

Kouyate also learned today that he could make his West Ham debut against arch-rivals Tottenham after it was revealed the two clubs will meet at the Boleyn Ground on the opening day of the 2014/2015 season.

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