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Whittaker: Deserved win at Man City

Stoke 17 hours ago
Read
 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jul 6, 2006

Pardew delighted to complete Cole capture

West Ham boss Alan Pardew has described the signing of striker Carlton Cole from Chelsea as a 'great coup' for the club.

Cole, 22, has signed for an undisclosed fee after finding chances limited at Stamford Bridge, while Tyrone Mears' arrival from Preston is set to be announced today.

Pardew is excited at the prospect of an attack featuring Cole and Dean Ashton - who have both recently played at England Under-21 level - along with Marlon Harewood, Bobby Zamora and Teddy Sheringham.

'This is a great coup for West Ham,' said Pardew, whose side qualified for the UEFA Cup last season. 'Several clubs came in for Carlton and it is a great compliment to what we have achieved here that he has signed for us.

'Carlton is a powerful, skilful striker and brings another option to our forward-line as we embark on a new season and a European campaign.

'I am delighted to have Carlton on board, but our search for new players is not over and I want our supporters to know there will be more signings in the coming weeks.'

Cole's former England Under-21 team-mates Anton Ferdinand and Nigel Reo-Coker convinced him to finally sever ties with Chelsea and sign for West Ham.

'Whenever we've been away with England they are always telling me how great it is at West Ham and that I'd really enjoy playing here if I ever got the chance,' Cole told the club's website.

'I'm really excited about making that step now and really looking forward to teaming up with them at club level.'

Cole, now 22, had been at Chelsea for 10 years but his first team opportunities were limited behind Didier Drogba and Hernan Crespo.

Things would not get much better next season with the signing of Ukraine World Cup striker Andriy Shevchenko from AC Milan.

Loan spells with Wolves, Charlton and Aston Villa were not particularly successful and he faces competition at West Ham from Dean Ashton, Marlon Harewood, Bobby Zamora and Teddy Sheringham.

But Cole is determined to prove his quality with the Hammers after too long playing the permanent understudy.

'Chelsea is all I've ever known, having been there since the age of 12, and it was quite emotional to leave the club but I knew it was the right decision for my career and I thank them for allowing me to take this opportunity,' said Cole.

'It's a fantastic challenge and I'm so glad that West Ham came in for me. I'm looking forward to the start of pre-season training next week and I'm just determined to be a success at Upton Park.

'For me, it's a fantastic opportunity to come to a big club that is clearly moving forward. The manager (Alan Pardew) had a great influence on my decision.

'It's a young squad here and I'm just happy to be a part of it now. There's so much to look forward to, what with the UEFA Cup next season and the chance to progress in the Premiership, and I can't wait to get started.'

And yet Cole's move might even have been scuppered at the last minute - because he lost his mobile phone while on holiday at the World Cup.

Cole put pen to paper soon after landing at Stanstead airport last night but he he admitted things had been a bit hairy for a while.

'I've been out in Germany watching the World Cup, and unfortunately managed to lose my mobile phone, so it's been a bit frantic trying to communicate,' Cole said.

'But the main thing is that everything is completed now and I can look forward to making an impact at West Ham.

'I'm just relieved that everything is done and dusted now and that I can say I am a West Ham player.

'There has been a lot of speculation about my future and where I was going, but I'm delighted to have finally signed.'

Pardew, however, looks unlikely to sign Pascal Chimbonda from Wigan. A move for Charlton right-back Luke Young fell through at the weekend, with Pardew then approaching Latics boss Paul Jewell about Chimbonda.

Pardew was willing to pay £4million for the French full-back but Jewell described the offer as 'not enough', with the club wanting £6million. Pardew now has Mears ready to fight for a place at right-back.

Meanwhile, Shaka Hislop will return to America to finish his career after signing for FC Dallas from the Hammers.