Jimenez excites Gale

Tony Gale is hoping Luis Jimenez can thrill West Ham United's fans in the same way fellow South American Carlos Tevez did three seasons ago.

Argentina forward Tevez became a cult hero during the 2006/07 campaign, ending the season by being voted Hammer of the Year.

Fast forward to 2009/10 and West Ham have brought in another exciting prospect in Chile forward Jimenez, who has joined the Hammers on a season-long loan from Italian champions Internazionale.

While Gale does not want to place any unwanted pressure on the 25-year-old, he believes Jimenez could prove to be a shrewd capture for manager Gianfranco Zola.

"It's important for the fans to have new signings to look and Luis Jimenez is certainly one of them," said Gale. "From all the sources that I've spoken to at Sky and at the club, he's an excellent player.

"He can play up-front, in the hole or in any of the roles in midfield that Gianfranco and Steve Clarke want to play him. He will be a very good signing.

"Tevez was excellent when he was here and he will always be a hero at Upton Park, especially when you consider he was only here for a short space of time. He didn't even play a full season, and was only a regular in the run-in.

"It was a joy watching Carlos when he was at his best."

While Jimenez is a welcome addition, Gale is also pleased to see a number of the club's injured players returning to action.

Wales defender Danny Gabbidon is back after 18 months on the sidelines, while England midfielder Kieron Dyer is in full training after missing the tail-end of last season with a hamstring strain.

Both could feature in Saturday's opening pre-season friendly at Grays Athletic - a fixture being attended by Gale and fellow ex-Hammers Tony Cottee, Alan Devonshire, Steve Lomas and Don Hutchison, as well as new Grays chairman John Moncur.

"There will be more [new signings], there's no doubt about that, but I'm also excited about seeing some of the injured players coming back - Danny Gabbidon and Kieron Dyer - because they are class players who will add to what is a very good squad," said Gale.

"I'm really hopeful ahead of the new season and Jimenez makes it even better, and there will be some more coming. The likes of Savio, who needed a bit of bedding in and acclimatisation to living in a different country, I believe we could see more from next season."