Kouyate: 'Being here is a dream'

West Ham United new boy Cheikhou Kouyate is already feeling at home in east London.

The Senegal midfielder arrived in the close season from Anderlecht and could make his debut on Saturday against Tottenham Hotspur.

West Ham is his first English club, but the 24-year-old has wasted little time in settling in to his new surroundings.

"I feel very happy here," he confirmed. "I've been welcomed by the players and the staff and that's helped me to settle in.

"I thought it might be difficult but it's actually been fine and although it's only been a month it feels like I've been here for much longer.

"The other club in the hunt for me [this summer] was Valencia but West Ham made a serious offer and really did everything to convince me to sign.

"When I saw the project the Club has here I really wanted to join. It has always been a dream of mine to play in England and West Ham have given me that chance. It's a dream move for me."

Kouyate is looking to another famous son of Senegal as inspiration as he makes the step up to the Barclays Premier League.

He added: "Since I started playing in Belgium, after about ten matches people started making comparisons between me and Patrick Vieira.

"It's a pleasure to be compared to such a fantastic player and he's a real role model for us [in Senegal]. When he started to prove how good he was, it made us dream, to aspire to do similar things.

"Of course I know it will be tough and now it's up to me to prove I deserve the comparisons.

"Our ambitions are to improve on what we did last season, and we know that if we train hard and make a good start to the campaign we can win more games than we did last season."