Alessandro aiming high

Alessandro Diamanti cannot wait to show West Ham United supporters what he can do after announcing his arrival with a virtuoso performance for the Hammers reserve team.

The 26-year-old, who has joined the club from Serie A outfit AS Livorno Calcio, scorted two sublime free-kicks in Tuesday's 6-0 Barclays Premier Reserve League South thumping of Birmingham City at the Boleyn Ground. Now, the Prato-born forward told WHUTV that he is aiming to carry that match-winning form into the Barclays Premier League.


"To play here was an excellent feeling," he said. "I was very excited and couldn't wait to show my qualities. The team did well and played a good game, which I'm very happy about."

Having played in Serie A with Livorno, Diamanti - whose name literally translates as 'Diamonds' - is eager to become a jewel in the Premier League, which is commonly held to be the best league on the planet. He is already eyeing Saturday's trip to Wigan Athletic.

"I came to England because the Premier League is the most beautiful championship in the world and I cannot wait to start the season with the first team. I am very excited about that and want to have this challenge."

Diamanti has settled in quickly at Chadwell Heath, helped in large part by team-mate and fellow Italian speaker Valon Behrami.

The Switzerland midfielder has been acting as Diamanti's chauffeur, driving the 26-year-old to and from training, as well as his translator.

"My taxi driver has two very nice cars, he is never late and is a very comfortable driver to ride with! Seriously, though, I want to thank Valon a lot because he has helped me a lot to join with the team and to settle in."

Fit-again Behrami himself believes his new friend possesses the quality to be a huge hit with West Ham's supporters.

He said: "He showed his quality against Birmingham. It was a great game for him and he's a very, very good player. We have to wait because it is not easy to come in England and get used to playing a very different game. He did very well and will do great things for us.

"He is a very, very good new signing and I say that not just because he is my friend, but because he is a quality player and he is exactly what we need. That's what the manager wanted to sign - a quality new player - and I am very happy and everyone is happy with his arrival."