Legendary Hammers striker Tony Cottee has described Andy Carroll's arrival at the Boleyn Ground on a permanent transfer from Liverpool as the biggest signing the Club have ever made.

England international Carroll impressed hugely whilst on loan from the Reds last term and Cottee, who netted nearly 150 goals in Hammers colours across two spells, says he will be a key part of West Ham's plans to keep on progressing in the Barclays Premier League.

Carroll's netted seven vital goals last term despite suffering with niggly injuries over the campaign, so Cottee believes that with an uninterrupted season of football the big Geordie could become a real West Ham legend.

WATCH THE INTERVIEW WITH TONY ON WEST HAM TV NOW

"I'm absolutely delighted," he said. "We've all been waiting patiently since the end of the season but I think it was clear from the start that Andy wanted to sign for the club.

"That was a real positive, that gave the Club great grounds for optimism in terms of signing him - it was always going to drag on a bit, there was a huge transfer fee involved when he went to Liverpool, but as a West Ham fan I'm delighted that he's signed.

"We saw some real quality glimpses from Andy last season and we can now look forward to him starting the season as a permanent West Ham player. It's a big signing for the Club.

"It's a massive statement of intent from the Board and they need congratulating for bringing a player of Andy's standing to the Club.

"I'm pleased it's a long-term contract and hopefully he can be the man who can lead us to stability, and hopefully Andy will be leading the attack for the next six, seven, eight years for the Club."

Andy Carroll

Cottee is of the belief that Carroll is a perfect fit for the Hammers and Sam Allardyce and he knows the fans will continue to get behind him from the off.

He continued: "For the way Big Sam wants to set his teams up, I think Andy slots right in for him. Playing in the system with Kevin Nolan pushing on from midfield, they have a telepathic understanding and they got on really well on and off the field.

"With Kevin pushing forward you need a big target man, you need someone who is going to hold the ball up, bring the others into play and then if you get the likes of Matt Jarvis supplying the crosses, he's always going to be a danger.

"Whatever club you go to, it's great to get that adulation from the fans, when they respect you as a player and understand what you bring to the table.

"Andy will get that, and I think from his point of view there's a World Cup at the end of next season, and if you're not playing football you won't be in Roy Hodgson's plans.

"So personally I think it's a great decision from Andy - coming here and playing his football in front of such passionate support will be great for Andy, and if he can get into the World Cup squad then it's great for the Club too because it means Andy's playing well and the team's doing well."