Aaron Cresswell believes Pablo Zabaleta’s experience and quality will have a hugely positive impact on West Ham United.
The Hammers left-back is looking forward to sharing a dressing room, training ground and pitch with the experienced Argentinian, who will formally complete his move to east London from Manchester City on Saturday.
Cresswell revealed he had received a glowing report on the new No5 from Joe Hart, who won two Premier League titles alongside Zabaleta at the Etihad Stadium, while on England duty.
I spoke to Joe Hart while I was away with England and Joe could not have spoken any higher of Pablo, saying he is a great teammate, a great lad and top professiona
“Watching him throughout his time with Manchester City, which was nearly a decade, the things Pablo Zabaleta did for that club were fantastic, winning Premier League titles cups and the like,” Creswell observed. “He will now bring those qualities, his loyalty and experience to West Ham and his presence will only help us, not only his fellow defenders but the whole team.
“I spoke to Joe Hart while I was away with England and Joe could not have spoken any higher of him, saying he is a great teammate, a great lad and top professional.
“His quality is there for all to see, so he is a great addition to the squad. Pablo will not only make his presence felt on the pitch, but his experience will rub off on the young lads around the training ground.”
Cresswell also reflected positively on his recent international experience, which saw him win a second senior cap in a friendly with France in Paris.
The 27-year-old made his Three Lions debut against Spain at Wembley last November, just weeks after returning from a serious knee injury, having been called up as a replacement for injured Leicester City star Danny Drinkwater.
This time around, Cresswell was named in Gareth Southgate’s original squad and he is hoping a productive pre-season and strong start to the new Premier League campaign will see him keep his place for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers with Malta and Slovakia in September.
“Obviously it was another proud moment for me and my family to get another cap for England,” confirmed the No3, who will return for pre-season training on 10 July after being given a few extra days to recharge his batteries by manager Slaven Bilic. “I enjoyed being part of the squad again and everything that goes with it.
Obviously it was another proud moment for me and my family to get another cap for England
“Now, I want to hit the ground running when I come back for pre-season training, because I want to keep my place in the squad and add to my tally of caps in the future.
“Last year, I sprained my medial knee ligament in pre-season and was out for three months, which was not a great start, but I then got a shock call-up after only three games as an injury replacement and make my debut against Spain back in November, which was a very proud moment.
“To then get called up again this summer was fantastic and it was great to double my tally in France earlier this month. I’m now looking forward to getting back in for pre-season and putting the hard yards in again.”