Glenn On Youssef

Youssef Sofiane may not have been the most high profile signing Glenn Roeder has made in his time so far in charge of the Hammers - but he is as delighted with the youngster's capture as he is with any of his more established stars.

"We are all pretty excited about the signing of Youssef Sofiane," says Glenn. "I am told that great things were expected of him in France.

"He has always played for his national team up to the Under-18s and France is still a major force in world football.

"I'd like to think Youssef, who will train with the first team squad every day, can go on and hold his own at Premiership level.

"You have to remember he has only just turned 18, but, having seen some videos of him, he looks exceptionally quick - he has genuine pace, and you do need that.

"We will bring him along slowly but if he can have the sort of season that Defoe had last year, that would be good.

"He is an extremely motivated boy, and the only reason he wanted to leave Auxerre was because he felt he would get a quicker opportunity at first team level.

"That is the sort of ambition he has got, and you would have to say at Auxerre he has got so many talented strikers ahead of him, particularly Djbril Cisse, who is valued at £25m.

"There are other exciting young talents at Auxerre as well and he thought it would be difficult to break in, so he took the opportunity to join a club that is renowned for putting players into the first team early."