West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has hailed new signing Alvaro Arbeloa as the “perfect option” to strengthen his squad.
Free agent Arbeloa, formerly of Liverpool and Real Madrid, signed a one-year deal at the club and will compete with Sam Byram and Michail Antonio for the right-back slot.
Arbeloa’s versatility means he will also be an option for Bilic on the left, with Aaron Cresswell out for several months with a serious knee injury and Bilic believes the 33-year-old’s experience will be an asset for West Ham.
“His CV is top of course,” Bilic said of the World Cup winner. “He was at Liverpool so he knows the Premier League.
“He had 10 years at Real Madrid and won everything. We were looking to strengthen that position, at least short-term and he was available and simply the perfect option for what we needed.
“We watched a lot of Real Madrid games like everybody else and he’s a great professional, a player of great experience and I’m sure he’s going to help us a lot.
“Make no mistake, he’s coming here as a player, not as a mentor, not as a coach.”
West Ham also confirmed the signing of Italy international Simone Zaza from Juventus in the days leading up to transfer deadline day and Bilic explained what he expects from the forward.
“He’s still young, hungry, great left foot, goalscorer, bit of that drive and positive wildness on the pitch that is very important for the team, the crowd,” said the Croatian.
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