West Ham United bolster back four with addition of Romania skipper

West Ham United have confirmed the signing of Razvan Rat.

The Hammers earned promotion to the Premier League via the Championship playoffs last year, and this term they have finished in a respectable tenth position. And with Sam Allardyce signing a new contract and the Olympic Stadium set to become their new home from 2016 onwards, more progress will be expected by the Londoners in the coming years.

Whilst this is unlikely to be their biggest signing of the summer, West Ham have wasted little time in adding to their squad for next season by signing Romania international captain Rat on a free transfer. The 31-year-old left fullback has spent the past decade at Shakhtar Donetsk, winning six league titles, four domestic cups and, in 2009, the Uefa Cup.

“I’m hugely happy that we’ve got a player of his experience and character,” Allardyce told the official club website. “He’s been playing [UEFA] Champions League football this year and at the highest level for many years. Shakhtar had offered him a very good contract but his ambition was to come and try his abilities and skills in England.  We certainly know he’s got the ability.

“He’s at an age where he’s still capable of producing at 31. He speaks perfect English, which he taught himself, and that shows the discipline and character of the man. Discipline, character and ability are the three big things in the Premier League and, with a little bit of adjusting, we’ll see him early on in the season giving hopefully his best performances for West Ham.”

Rat, who has 88 caps for his country, has penned a one-year contract with the Premier League side. Despite this capture, Allardyce is thought to still be keen on Maynor Figueroa, another left fullback who can also operate in the heart of the back four, who is out of contract at Wigan Athletic. Further up the field, the Hammers boss hopes to secure the permanent signing of Andy Carroll, who has impressed whilst on loan from Liverpool, for £15million.


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