Andre Ayew told West Ham TV there were plenty of reasons behind his decision to become a Hammer.
The Ghana star became the Club’s record signing when he completed a £20.5m move from Swansea City on Monday evening.
And in his first interview at London Stadium, the new No20 told of his respect for the Club, its big ambitions, manager Slaven Bilic, his former Marseille and now West Ham teammate Dimitri Payet and the strong squad being build to challenge on all fronts.
Andre Ayew, welcome to West Ham United! What’s your initial reaction to becoming a Hammer?
“First of all, thanks a lot because I’m very proud and happy to be in this magnificent Club. It was long, but now it’s done and I’m happy to be here and happy to play in this popular club with a lot of fans and I hope I can make everyone happy here.
“When I got to England, I could have come to West Ham last season too, but what is meant to happen happens every time because I am here now!
“I think it’s the ambition of the Club, the great manager that the Club has and the thought of becoming a better Club every year. I can see West Ham has been growing for the past few years – the Stadium, the training ground, we can feel the Club is getting to another dimension and I want to be part of this project.”
You have signed for a Club-record fee, so how does that feel?
“What is important is the field. I need to do my job, train hard and be ready to prove that I deserve to play for West Ham – that’s what’s important.
“The fee is talks between the clubs, not me. My issue is to make sure I give back the coach and the fans the confidence they have given to me and make the West Ham fans proud.”
Here we are at our stunning new London Stadium. Did this magnificent arena play a part in your decision to join us?
“Honestly, I can’t wait to play here and I hope it’s soon! It’s a great Stadium with great fans who we heard at the last two games in the Europa League and versus Juventus – it sounded fantastic.
“Hopefully we can keep playing well and getting results so there will be more and more people and joy in the stands.”
Do you sense West Ham is a Club moving to the next level on and off the pitch?
“It’s not by talking, but by proving it on the pitch and that’s what is important and why we’re going to work and concentrate very hard.
“With the season we had last season, everyone knows West Ham is a Club which is going to compete and we need to be ready for that.
“It’s going to be a difficult season but we need to be ready physically and mentally to get the right performances and results to let the Stadium and everyone all go with it.”
How big a role did manager Slaven Bilic play in bringing you to east London?
“He was a very big part of me joining the Club. He is a manager who has wanted me for the past few years and today I’m lucky to play under him.
“Hopefully I’ll be able to satisfy him, because his words when I spoke to him were very important to me and made me think we have a lot of work to do to get where we want to get to. I’m very happy he has confidence in me and I want to give it back to him.”
And of course your arrival also means a reunion with your old Marseille teammate Dimitri Payet!
“He’s a friend of mine as we played two or three years together at Marseille. I know him and he knows me and I’m happy to be back playing with a great player like him, because I know what he is capable of doing.
“I know what he did last season and he can do even more, so now I’m back with him we’re going to work together with the whole team and do everything possible to make things right.
“You have Dimitri, Sofiane, Antonio, Andy Carroll – the Club is getting to another level and these are the players you need to get here. Hopefully we can keep the unity to make things work.
“We can do all the signings and say what we want, but what’s important is to prove it on the field and do everything we can do get the results on the pitch.”