Pablo Zabaletta passed on offers from Italy and interest from Spain and England to join the Hammers.
And in his first serious interview since arriving at the club he declared: ” I expressed myself to them that to keep playing in the Premier League was a priority.
I love the Premier League so much. Of course West Ham has always been my first choice and the reason that it is a fantastic Club and I have a lot of respect.”
He added: “It was always hard playing at West Ham away. They said that Upton Park was the home of West Ham for so many years and it is now a new era in London Stadium, where when I went to play my first game I thought the atmosphere was really good. That’s why I’m here.
“I’m really happy, my family will also enjoy it and, as I say, I’m very proud to remain in England to keep playing in this wonderful league.
I’m not a young player, but sometimes in football it’s all about passion as well and that’s something that I have still got inside me as a football player, to keep enjoying this wonderful professional.
“I’ve been playing [a long time] and have experience in my whole career so it’s good to come here and use my experience to help the young lads to continue to develop.
I know West Ham is a great Club at working with its Academy and we have seen so many players coming through to the first team, and so many big names in the West Ham era.
“That’s why I’m so pleased and happy to be part of that and I will try to give everything to make sure I can to help the Club to make a step forward.”
Well, at least he says the right things – even he turns out to be useless and past it (which I suspect is highly unlikely).
Older players can either be past it (as some posters fear) or else can turn out to be master strokes (Gary McCallister and Teddy Sheringham come to mind) – when BFS was interested in Duncan Fletcher many were unimpressed but he seems to have done well at WBA
Let us hope Zaba turns out to be one of the latter