Roland is learning the West Ham Way

Razvan Rat is already fluent in five languages and he is now eager to learn the West Ham Way.

West Ham United's summer capture from Shakhtar Donetsk speaks Romanian, English, Spanish, Russian and Portuguese, impressing his new team-mates with his versatile linguistic skills.

Rat has also caught the eye with the skill and ability that saw him star for Shakhtar in the UEFA Champions League and captain his home country of Romania.

The left-back has been nicknamed 'Roland' by his Hammers colleagues in tribute to the 1980s TV character, but the player himself explained that the correct pronunciation is slightly different.

"In my language it is pronounced 'Rats' but you don't have the letter in English, so you can only say the sound with 'ts'," he explained. "For me, it doesn't matter because it is just a coincidence [that my name is the same as an animal]. It will be a good opportunity to laugh more!

"I was trying to improve my language skills. I speak Spanish because it is quite close to my language, I was speaking Russian because I was living in Ukraine and also Portuguese because we had about ten Brazilians in our squad at Shakhtar and the coach was talking a lot in Portuguese as well.

"I just learned the languages by myself - it is nothing special!"

Moving onto less important matters, Rat has quickly settled into the group after a decade in Ukraine with Shakhtar, where he won more than a dozen trophies and played 300 times.

A strong and tenacious defender with superb technique and great experience, the 32-year-old is now hoping to make his mark in the Barclays Premier League.

"I am starting to get used to this team. I need to adapt here very fast so I need to understand the philosophy of this team. I want to be one of them very, very soon."

Rat has shared a room with another international star, Joe Cole, during West Ham's pre-season training camp in Cork, while he has also struck up instant relationships with the likes of Matt Jarvis and Matt Taylor.

"The boys are amazing. They have welcomed me and are speaking with me and helping me. I share a room with Joe Cole so we've had a lot of talks.

"Hopefully I will integrate into the group very fast and be one of the men of the group.

"It is a bit strange for me but I understand this is my new team and my new family. I will try to do my best to adapt very fast and to be a good player here. I want to show my best, that's all."

Rat has got used to vying for the Ukrainian title and playing against Europe's finest clubs, but now he is relishing a different type of challenge in English football.

"My personal goal is to play regularly. This is my first goal and, after that, you never know. Maybe we can have a good season and can get a place in the UEFA Europa League. You never know.

"Hopefully we will play some good football and everything is possible."

Rat becomes the latest in a succession of Romanian stars to try their luck in England, many of whom arrived after the country's fourth-place finish at the 1994 FIFA World Cup. While Dan Petrescu enjoyed great times at Chelsea, Florin Raducioiu and Ilie Dumitrescu had indifferent spells with West Ham.

The 89-times capped defender is planning to show Hammers supporters his ability and prove that the Eastern European nation is still producing world-class players.

"This is also my goal - first to prove to myself that I can play here in the Premier League and after that, to prove the manager that he was not wrong to bring me here. That is a good goal for me.

To find out what Rat hopes to achieve during the pre-season and how he thinks his former Shakhtar team-mate Fernandinho will fare with new club Manchester City, log in or subscribe to West Ham TV.