Noble welcomes 'all-round good fella' Zabaleta to West Ham

Mark Noble wears the Hammers' new away kit

Mark Noble has welcomed the arrival of Pablo Zabaleta to West Ham United and cannot wait to line-up alongside the Argentina international in claret and blue.

Former Manchester City man Zabaleta became the Hammers' first summer signing when he arrived from Etihad Stadium last month, with Noble sure his presence can only help to drive the team forward.

Club captain Noble, whose 2016/17 season was ended early due to hernia surgery, has been working hard on his rehab and is looking forward to the resumption of pre-season training.

"He's [Zabaleta] an all-round good fella," Noble said. "I've spoken to him on text already and he's really keen to meet the lads in pre-season.

"I knew I had the hernias February time and me and the physios took it on ourselves not to say anything until the club was safe.

"It kept getting worse and worse and I went to see the surgeon before the Spurs game and he said 'it's urgent now, you need to have an operation.'

"Then we beat Spurs and were mathematically safe so it all worked out well."