Allardyce: ‘English lessons could help turn Barrera into West Ham star’

Hammers boss Sam Allardyce has sat down with Pablo Barrera and his agent to discuss how best to move the winger’s career at Upton Park forward.

Manager Sam Allardyce is looking to turn Mexico winger Pablo Barrera into a West Ham star next year, with a little help from English lessons.

The 24-year-old found life tough in the Premier League last season, but starred for his country in their Gold Cup success during the summer.

And after watching him for the first time at Wycombe on Saturday, Allardyce is looking for Barrera to translate that international form into his club displays.

“He had a very successful tournament for Mexico and I am hoping for big things from him,” Allardyce told the Recorder this week.

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“He hasn’t had a lot of time off so his fitness is fairly good, though he has a couple of blisters after Saturday.”

Barrera has been linked with Saturday’s friendly opponents Real Zaragoza, but Allardyce is hoping that he can turn things around for the player.

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“It was a sizeable investment to bring him to the club last summer, but he struggled with the language barrier and the cultural changes of coming to a new country, so he hasn’t had a very good experience here so far,” said the manager.

“In the end he was lost in the furore of last season because the manager went for his more experienced players to get them out of trouble, though of course that didn’t work.

“I sat down with him and his agent to have a chat and I think the important thing is to make him as happy here as possible.

“That means English lessons for him and his wife and just helping him to adapt to life in England a little better.

“He is a very good player and I don’t see why he can’t play well in English football,” concluded the West Ham boss.

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