Obinna has Chelsea in sight

Victor Obinna is already targeting a "massive game" on Saturday week when West Ham United welcome old rivals Chelsea to the Boleyn Ground.

Having sealed his high-profile switch from UEFA Champions League holders and Serie A champions Internazionale, the Nigeria forward will begin work with his new team-mates this week. He is eager to put himself in the frame for a debut at the earliest opportunity. "I can't wait to play," he said.

"I am very happy and excited about moving to West Ham, I also want to thank the coach for choosing me. He has had the confidence to bring me to London and I think my game will suit the Premier League. I am looking forward to helping the club move to the next level.

"If I can play against Chelsea, it will be a massive game for me. I know what derby matches mean for the fans and how it is important to give everything you can. I am sure the atmosphere will be fantastic."


Obinna, who had a successful spell at Spanish top-flight side Malaga on loan last season, may be used to the glamorous surroundings of the Giuseppe Meazza stadium in the San Siro district of Milan but he was no less in awe of the Boleyn when he made his first visit to east London.

"Inter have an amazing stadium but West Ham have a big culture and a very long history. It is an impressive stadium with so much history and I am looking forward to making it my home. I am going to have a nice life here."

Like his fellow Hammers forward Pablo Barrera, Obinna has only just turned 23. Both are part of Avram Grant's vision for a pacy attack that moves forward with freedom, but in an organised way. At such a young age, it is no surprise that Obinna turned to a wise old head for some advice about his move from Inter.

"I spoke to the Legend, as we call him in Nigeria for advice. [Portsmouth striker] Kanu is the king. He said many good things. He was so excited for me to come here. He gave me some advice before signing for West Ham and told me to go for it. He encouraged me. He has played under the manager and said they had a very positive relationship."

He also sounded out his colleagues in the Nigeria set-up, with several like Joseph Yobo, Yakubu Ayegbeni and John Obi Mikel playing in the Barclays Premier League. "I have spoken to all of my team-mates in the national team. They are so excited.

"I know about the club, and the expectation here. I believe West Ham have a good team. Last season they played well at times but unfortunately didn't always get the results. I believe it will take a little time but we will be back and show what we can do. It is going to be exciting and I can't wait to play for the fans."