Midfielder Obiang becomes first signing for West Ham under Bilic

Frank Dalleres
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Pedro Obiang came through Atletico Madrid’s youth system
WEST Ham have followed up the appointment of Slaven Bilic as manager with their first major signing of the summer, luring Spain Under-21 midfielder Pedro Obiang to Upton Park from Sampdoria.

Tough-tackling Obiang, 23, came through Atletico Madrid’s youth system but left for Italy aged 16 and established himself in the first team at the Genoese club.

The Hammers are thought to be keen to continue their recruitment by signing a striker next, with Chelsea’s former Queens Park Rangers Loic Remy and Galatsaray’s Buruk Yilmaz among the players linked.

“I’m very happy to have signed. We have been talking about this for a long time and now I’ve finally got the chance to come here,” said Obiang, who scored four goals in 139 appearances for Sampdoria.

“I’m very excited to play in the Premier League. It’s a style of football that will help me to progress as a player and as a person, so it will be very good.”

Former Hammers defender Bilic was confirmed as the successor to Sam Allardyce on Tuesday, as the club hurries to prepare for a Europa League-enforced premature start to the season on 2 July.

“I think Bilic is a manager that can do very well here,” added Obiang, who was also tracked by AC Milan.

“I know that he was a West Ham player and he did very well with the Croatian national team. He is a manager that likes to play good football and I really like that so I am sure that we’ll get along very well.”

West Ham were also said to be interested in Ghana winger Andre Ayew, but the 25-year-old yesterday opted to sign a four-year contract with Swansea after leaving Marseille on a free transfer.

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