West Ham’s biggest signing of the transfer window thus far, Enner Valencia, certainly doesn’t lack ambition and the striker has stated he wants to fire the club to a top four finish in the Premier League.
The Ecuadorian international signed for a reported £12million from Mexican outfit Pachuca last month and impressed for his country at the World Cup, scoring three goals in as many appearances.
A host of club across Europe including Valencia were mentioned as possible recruits following his performances in Brazil, along with his emphatic goalscoring record at club level, but he was won over by the Hammers’ European ambition.
"Before signing we spoke a lot about that, the ambitions of the club to try to play European football," Valencia told Four Four Two.
"I'm going to work very hard for it and they're going to try to make top four.
- Forget Carroll - West Ham pair can shine next season
- West Ham striker ready to star in teammate's absence
- Peter Crouch emerges as West Ham target
"After the World Cup several offers came around but when I found out that West Ham were interested I said definitely yes because it is one of my dreams to play in the Premier League.
"I spoke to [Ecuador captain and Manchester United winger] Antonio Valencia and he gave me some good advice to take this opportunity.
"I hope that I can bring a lot of happiness to the West Ham fans. If we can achieve any European football then that would be fantastic for everyone."
West Ham finished 13th last campaign after narrowly escaping the clutches of relegation – just seven points above the drop zone – but their new striker is aiming for a massive improvement on that in his debut season in English football.
Valencia signed a five-year contract with the Irons but, following his World Cup exploits, he is lacking match fitness and is expected to miss the club’s league opener against rivals Tottenham on August 16.
However, despite the club desperately trying to bring in a new frontman as back-up for the injured Andy Carroll, Valencia has stated that he is regaining his fitness quickly and will be available for selection in the near future.
"I'm training normally now and trying to adapt to what the manager wants and the philosophy of the club," he added. "I'm expecting to be ready in between one or two weeks."
Eager to please
The 24-year-old is clearly raring to get his Upton Park career started and will be eager to make a scoring start in order to impress and put the Hammers fans minds at ease.
West Ham only managed 40 goals in 38 matches last season and a lot of pressure will be on Valencia’s shoulders to hit the ground running and repeat his fine goalscoring record in the Premier league.
He scored an impressive 18 goals in 23 appearances during his short spell at Pachuca and his tenacity and ability to sniff out goals could be invaluable for a West Ham side short on attacking options.
Also his positive, ambitious nature should hopefully see that he is not affected by the pressure and will get off to a flying start once he is fit to make his Hammers debut.
He can lead the line on his own to great effect and is always a dangerous target in the penalty area, although he may be better utilised with a strike partner that can help feed him the chances that he gleefully gobbles up.