Sam Allardyce says he has high hopes for West Ham's Mexican winger Pablo Barrera, and is expecting him to have a much more productive second season in English football after taking time to adapt to a new club and a new culture.
The 24-year-old arrived in east London last summer, but struggled to make an impact in the Hammers’ first team, as the club were relegated from the Barclays Premier League.
Now under the stewardship of a new manager, Barrera will be given a new lease of life in the Npower Championship, and Allardyce hopes the player will be able to replicate his recent form shown in the Gold Cup at Upton Park this season.
"He had a very successful tournament for Mexico and I am hoping for big things from him," Allardyce told the Recorder.
"It was a sizeable investment to bring him to the club last summer, but he struggled with the language barrier and the cultural changes of coming to a new country, so he hasn't had a very good experience here so far.
"In the end he was lost in the furore of last season because the manager went for his more experienced players to get them out of trouble, though of course that didn't work."
Allardyce revealed how a few small changes to his lifestyle off the pitch, will benefit Barrera's performances on it, and showed his willingness to support all of his new, and in this case inherited foreign imports, to help them settle in a new country.
"I sat down with him and his agent to have a chat and I think the important thing is to make him as happy here as possible," continued Allardyce. "That means English lessons for him and his wife and just helping him to adapt to life in England a little better.
"He is a very good player and I don't see why he can't play well in English football."
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