Katan's Big Chance

Alan Pardew welcomed new signing Yaniv Katan to Chadwell Heath on Thursday and believes the Israeli striker has the attributes to become a big success in the Premiership.

The £100,000 deal for the 24-year-old proved to be an opportunity to good to miss for the Hammers boss, who snapped him up from Maccabi Haifa as our first new arrival in the January transfer window, and immediately named him in the squad for the trip to Norwich this weekend.

"Obviously now the window is open I am trying to secure players that can take the club forward," said Pards, "and we are very pleased to have signed Yaniv. Financially, the deal is a no-brainer with the amount of experience he has, and the fee is minimal.

"He is a young striker who's hungry to do well, and to have that experience of the Champions League and international football under his belt makes it a fantastic signing for us.

"The thing I like about him is he has a good mentality, and when I've seen him in games that are not going well he stays strong, which is important.

"He's got good pace and he is naturally balanced on both sides. I think he's got a very good chance of being a success.

"Really, the ball lies back in his court now, because he needs to show he can do it on the Premiership stage."

The arrival of Katan means that, when Teddy Sheringham returns from injury, Pards will have six senior strikers to choose from, and he was quick to set the challenge when asked how he would keep all his attacking players happy.

"I don't intend to keep them all happy," he said. "I want my two strikers to be performing, and if they're not performing then there are two quality strikers putting them under pressure ready to come in.

"It's nice to have a balance of strikers, as it is to have a balance of defensive players. We want someone to threaten the goal, whether that's with assists, crosses or scoring."

The new arrival may also take some of the pressure off the man currently leading the line for Hammers, Marlon Harewood, who remains our only ever-present in all competitions this season.

"Because of the injuries we've had, I think Marlon may have played too much football," said Pards.

"I would have liked to have rested him but I've not been able to. He's carrying fourteen-and-a-half stone of muscle bulk, and there are not many Premiership strikers who can carry that around like he has.

"It's been fingers crossed that he's fit for every game, but it would be nice to be in a position to give him a rest."