West Ham complete Aaron Cresswell capture


West Ham, 5/2 to finish in the Premier League top 10 this season, have secured the signature of defender Ryan Cresswell from Ipswich Town for an undisclosed fee, successfully fending off interest from Fulham and West Brom.

The 24-year-old joins on a five-year deal, and will plug the hole at left back in Sam Allardyce’s squad after the Hammers released George McCartney and Matt Taylor, and loan signing Pablo Armero returned to parent club Udinese. Young full back Daniel Potts will likely act as understudy to Cresswell, who has enjoyed three years of service at Ipswich, making 132 appearances for the East Anglia club.

A former Tranmere Rovers academy product, the talented defender had a fruitful campaign last season, serving up an impressive 13 assists for his teammates. Hammers fans will be hoping target man Andy Carroll can reap the benefits of such productivity this term, after only netting twice in 15 league appearances for the club.

This transfer move will also likely signal the end of West Ham’s interest in Norwich City left back Martin Olsson. The 26-year-old Swedish international, who worked alongside Allardyce at Blackburn Rovers, was reportedly the subject of a failed bid, leading the east London club to turn their attentions to Cresswell.

Andrew Robertson of Dundee United and Boca Juniors’ Emanuel Insua were also rumoured to be potential targets, but the Hammers have now plumped for the Ipswich man instead.

Cresswell, Ipswich Player of the Year in 2012, is West Ham’s third summer signing so far. He will join former Lazio forward Mauro Zarate, who has history in the Premier League following a brief loan stint with Birmingham City in 2008, and ex-Anderlecht midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate, at Upton Park.

Diego Poyet, son of Sunderland boss and former Chelsea star Gus, is now also poised to link up with Allardyce. Talented Charlton Athletic teenage Poyet was voted Player of the Year for his club last season, but is reportedly set to join the Hammers after rejecting a new deal at The Valley.

Whilst the Addicks will receive no transfer fee for their academy star, if West Ham, odds-on at 1/2 to stay up this season, successfully lure the youngster to East London, they will have to pay compensation.

The Hammers, 6/1 to be relegated this term, will be hoping the midfielder can make an impact alongside former Manchester United prodigy Ravel Morrison, who returns to bolster the club’s attacking options following a successful loan at QPR.

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