West Ham United new boy Carlos Sanchez is determined to make a success of his second crack at the Premier League.
For Sanchez, his move to east London represents a return to English football, as he previously spent two seasons with Aston Villa between 2014 and 2016.
His stint in Birmingham began well, but ended with the disappointment of relegation, so it is clear the 32-year-old has unfinished business on these shores.
“I always dreamed of playing in the Premier League,” said the Colombia midfielder, who completed his move to West Ham from Italian club Fiorentina on deadline day. “It was previously in Aston Villa, where we started very well, then things did not go so well, but I always kept the idea of returning and here I have the same ambition, the same desire, the same dreams and I'm very grateful to West Ham for the opportunity.”
Sanchez’s second spell in the Premier League kicks-off with a mouth-watering Sunday lunchtime fixture at Liverpool.
While last season’s runners-up and UEFA Champions League finalists will pose a big challenge for the new-look Hammers – Sanchez is one of nine summer arrivals under new manager Manuel Pellegrini – the Colombian believes meeting them on the opening weekend is no bad thing.
Instead, with the Reds welcoming players back late following the FIFA World Cup finals, the No15 believes West Ham could catch Jurgen Klopp’s men cold at Anfield.
“[Sunday’s game] is exciting,” he confirmed. “We all want to play games against the big clubs, to be able to measure yourself and see how you are, but personally I prefer to meet all the big boys at the beginning and not when they have fine-tuned their style more. It may be an advantage or not, but I prefer it that way.”
Sunday’s Premier League opener will kick-off at 1.30pm BST and be screened live in the UK and Ireland by Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League.