WEST Ham chairman David Sullivan has set manager Sam Allardyce the target of a top-10 Premier League finish after opening the chequebook again for Anderlecht’s Cheikhou Kouyate.
The Senegal-born player, 24, can play at centre-back or as a defensive midfielder and is thought to have cost the Hammers in the region of £6m. Kouyate’s signing comes after that of Argentinian striker Mauro Zarate and Sullivan says it could be followed by four more new arrivals as they look to improve on a lacklustre previous campaign.
“We are determined to have a better season this year and this signing is a statement of the direction the club is heading in,” he said. “We hope to have at least four more signings in place by the time we kick off against Tottenham on 16 August as we aim for at least a top-10 finish this season.”
Kouyate, who has been playing in Belgium since the age of 16 and also has Belgian nationality, said he had been attracted to Upton Park by the prospect of emulating countryman Demba Ba, Argentina striker Carlos Tevez and current West Ham forward Andy Carroll.
“I am very happy, because West Ham have given me the chance to play in the Premier League,” he said. “West Ham are known and are going to help me to progress.”