Pards Hails Yossi Signing

ALAN Pardew is delighted with the capture of Israeli international midfielder Yossi Benayoun from Racing Santander and believes the 25-year-old will add an extra dimension to the Hammers attack.

Yossi only began training with his new team-mates at the end of last week, but has already settled well into the squad, leaving Pards to praise the strong team ethic that he feels will be crucial to West Ham United's success this season.

"I like quick, pacey teams that play with good energy," he explained, "and that is what we have built here. But when you have that it's crucial to have a quality player who links the play up.

"We had Teddy Sheringham to do that last season and he did a fantastic job. Now we have Yossi as well in that area. The way he passes the ball and links moves together in the final third could be really important for us. He also thinks about the game and plays with a lot of intelligence, which are qualities the Premier League rewards.

"We have some good contacts out in Israel and his performance against Switzerland recently was the one that really caught our eye. He was outstanding and we felt that a player of Yossi's ability would be of huge value to us in the Premiership.

"There were other clubs interested, but I just tried to show him what West Ham United had to offer in terms of history, tradition and support.  

"He's only had a few days training and we're trying to bring him up to speed, but the rest of the lads are absolutely flying at the moment and we've been delighted with the progress they have made so far in pre-season.

"I felt the games we've had so far have been just at the right standard for us and we've performed well in all those games. More importantly we've come through with no injury problems and spirits in the squad are very high at the moment."

It has been well-documented that Pards is searching for another striker to compliment his attacking armoury, and the Hammers boss admitted that he is looking to add to the squad further before the start of the season.

But the manager is keen to have his first-team squad assembled before the big kick-off on August 13th, rather than hedging his bets and holding some resources back for the January transfer window.

"It is no myserty that we are looking for another striker," he confessed. "I still feel that there is some strengthening that needs to be done and I'm sure the West Ham fans will approve of that.

"Some people have claimed that our aspirations are too high. Well, I don't think they can ever be too high and we're focused on bringing in the best squad of players that we can and achieving the best possible finish for the Club.

"The players and staff would not respond to me in the right way if I wasn't setting my sights as high as possible and wanting to get the very best for West Ham United.

"It's very dangerous to try and hold back and plan for what's going to happen in January. You have to hold complete faith in the work you are doing now. If not then you have wasted half a season and the first half could be the most important half from our point of view.

"I want to have the best squad that I possibly can in place by the start of the season."

"Like everyone at the Club, I'm extremely excited about the new season and am determined to do West Ham United proud in the Premier League."