Noble welcomes ‘great signings’ and urges Academy stars to shine

Mark Noble and the winning Claret team


Mark Noble believes young defenders Ryan Fredericks and Issa Diop are ‘great signings’ for West Ham United.

The captain welcomed the former Fulham full-back and France U21 centre-half to the Hammers and is already excited by the prospect of playing alongside the pair – and Poland goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski – in the Premier League.

And Noble even revealed that, had he had a say in recruitment, he would have snapped up lightning-quick Championship Play-Off final winner Fredericks 12 months ago!

For his pace down the right, I’m not saying I’m a genius but I’d have signed Ryan a year ago!

Mark Noble

“Issa is really young and a great signing for the future,” observed the skipper, who led a Claret team including Diop to victory in a competitive eight-a-side tournament in training on Friday. “Hopefully he can come in and settle in straight away. He’s a fantastic athlete and he’s got a lot of height.

“Obviously, Lukasz is well-known in the Premier League as we know and Ryan has just won the Play-Off final. What a fantastic achievement that was for him.

“As you see, a player who has gone into the Premier League with Fulham has come to West Ham because he believes we can push on and do stuff.

“For his pace down the right, I’m not saying I’m a genius but I’d have signed him a year ago because I watched a lot of him in the Championship, but we’ve got him now and that’s a massive asset to us.”


Mark Noble says youngsters like Josh Cullen have a chance to make their mark in Switzerland


Fredericks and Issa have both made a positive impression on the Club’s pre-season training camp in Switzerland, where Manuel Pellegrini has run his eye over his players for the first time since being appointed manager in June.

No fewer than eleven Academy scholars and graduates were invited to join the squad in Bad Ragaz – Nathan Trott, Joseph Anang, Daniel Jinadu, Declan Rice, Reece Burke, Reece Oxford, Josh Cullen, Conor Coventry, Martin Samuelsen, Marcus Browne and Nathan Holland – and Noble says the youngsters need to take advantage of every opportunity to impress Pellegrini and his staff.

“For the ones who have been with us quite regularly, it’s hard in pre-season because for a lot of players, including myself, you do things you wouldn’t normally do in training just to get the most out of yourself.

“So, for example, you probably press the ball when you shouldn’t. I’ve always done that because I want to get as much fitness and as much in my legs as possible.

“The young boys should be energetic and running more than us, full stop. If they don’t, there is a problem because they are only 20 or 21 and if I’m out-running a central midfield player and he’s 21, there’s a problem and they need to be told.”