West Ham swoop for Real Madrid World Cup winner
PUBLISHED: 20:57 31 August 2016 | UPDATED: 20:57 31 August 2016
The Hammers have signed former Real Madrid Champions League winning right-back Alvaro Arbeloa
West Ham have swooped to sign former World Cup and Champions League winner Alvaro Arbeloa on a one-year contract.
The 33-year-old former Real Madrid and Liverpool right-back was a free agent after being released by the Champions League winners in the summer and with Hammers boss Slaven Bilic in the market for a full back, the move seemed to be a perfect fit for both parties.
Arbeloa has a huge wealth of experience as well as a host of winners medals.
He was part of the Spain squad that won the World Cup in 2010 as well as the European Championship in both 2008 and 2012. At club level he has won two Champions League winners medals as well as a La Liga title and a European Super Cup.
He was a sporadic player for Spain until the 2012 Euros when he became a fixture in the starting line-up and helped them to win the competition.
Talking to West Ham TV, Arbeloa said: “I am really happy to be here in a great Club in a great league. I’m really happy to be back in England and, for me, it’s a great chance and I’m looking forward to playing with this side.
“For me, this is a great chance to be back in England and in the Premier League, which is a fantastic league and I want to put myself here again. This is a big Club and a great Club with fantastic players and a great coach.
“Slaven wants to see me training as soon as possible. I was talking with Luka Modric and Matteo Kovacic and they told me good things about the coach, so I want to work with him and hopefully I can learn a lot of things.”
The Hammers have had plenty of problems with the right-back position this season.
Winger Michail Antonio reluctantly played there, only for a mistake against Chelsea which cost a goal, seeing him substituted and then in subsequent games, moved further forward.
Regular right-back Sam Byram has had a tough time since his arrival from Leeds United back in January. He was the heir apparent to that role, but after an up and down start to his West Ham career, when the 22-year-old was first cup-tied and then injured, his chances have become fewer.
His confidence this season has also waned as has Bilic’s confidence in the defender, so perhaps someone with the experience of Arbeloa could prove a vital player to help Byram evolve into a Premier League full back.
Arbeloa has signed a deal until the end of the season and he will come into consideration for the home match with Watford at the London Stadium on September 10.