Walter Lopez

West Ham United announced the signing of Uruguay left-back Walter Lopez on a one-year contract on 5 September 2008.

After deciding to leave River Plate in his homeland, the 22-year-old was a free agent and had attracted the attention of leading clubs across Europe. However, he agreed to sign for West Ham United after impressing in training and a behind closed doors practice game. Capped three times by his country, Lopez is an attack-minded defender who can also play further forward in a midfield role.

He was given the No5 shirt. Lopez, who hails from Montevideo and has also had spells in Spain and Mexico, said: "I am really happy to be here and I hope to have a good career. Upton Park is a beautiful stadium and it will be great to play for West Ham." His debut came away to Watford in a Carling Cup second round tie on Tuesday 23 September, although it ended in a 1-0 defeat.