West Ham United have officially signed Ecuadorian striker Enner Valencia from Mexican side Pachuca, after the 25-year-old was granted a work permit.
Valencia scored three times for Ecuador at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, promoting clubs across Europe to chase his signature but the Hammers have batted away the competition to finally land their man.
Andy Carroll was West Ham’s main attacking weapon last season but the towering England forward failed to find form and fitness as the East London side scored just 40 goals during the entire 2013-14 Premier League season.
The Hammers badly needed offensive reinforcements and Valencia is delighted to have signed on at Upton Park to provide that.
“I really appreciate the welcome I’ve been given and I’m excited to be here,” Valencia said. “I’ve already watched and read a lot about the club to learn about it – I know the fans are really passionate and I’m really glad to have signed. The World Cup was a good tournament for me personally, I scored three times and for my first World Cup it was a good experience, but I hope my next one is better for me and the team. Of course, the World Cup gives me confidence to come to Europe and I want to take and advance with this opportunity that West Ham have given to me.”
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has already stated on the clubs preseason tour of Australasia that a new attacking philosophy is trying to be ushered in next season after home fans grew restless of their sides direct approach last term. Valencia will be a key component in this new style and his pace feeding off of Carroll’s flick-ons make them the perfect forward partnership, on paper. Valencia only arrived at Liga MX side Pachuca in January from Emelec but bagged 18 goals in 23 appearances and is the kind of predator Allardyce was looking for.
Valencia’s pedigree at the World Cup proved he can score goals at the highest level. Can he now take West Ham where they want to go by adding the goals they crave?