Diego Tristan

On 14 October 2008, West Ham United completed the signing of Diego Tristan on a permanent contract with the Spanish striker becoming the first new recruit under Gianfranco Zola.

The 32-year-old, capped 15 times by his country, had been without a club since leaving Serie A side Livorno at the end of the 2007/08 season and was determined to hit the heights of his spells at Mallorca and Deportivo La Coruna. "I am really happy to be at West Ham. They are a big club and London is a great city," he said. "I want to show the fans that I can score goals and help the team to go up the league. I am excited to be here."

The 6'1 forward was well aware of English football, having made a particular impression in the Champions League back in October 2001 when he scored twice to help Depor to a memorable 3-2 win against Manchester United at Old Trafford. A month later he followed that with a goal in a 2-0 home win against Arsenal.

Tristan, who played at the 2002 World Cup and has scored four goals for his country, will be hoping in east London to match the heights of previous years in the Primera Division when he scored 78 goals in 177 league games overall for Deportivo, having hit 18 from 35 games in the 1999/00 campaign for Mallorca.

After being given time to work on his fitness, his first taste of the Premier League came as an unused substitute away to Middlesbrough on Saturday 1 November, having scored in a practice game the previous week. He then made his first competitive appearance in claret and blue against Tottenham Hotspur reserves on Monday 3 November, getting the first 45 minutes in the 2-0 defeat.