Thursday, May 29

Hammers sign Zarate kid

West Ham have signed striker Mauro Zarate from Velez Sarsfield in Argentina, where he was top scorer last season with 13 goals in 19 games. The 27-year-old has clearly got some pedigree having played in the Argentina Under-20 side with Aguero. Zarate scored four times in 14 games while on loan at Birmingham in 2008, so Sullivan, Gold and Brady should know something of his character. At Lazio he scored 25 goals in 102 games and had a brief loan spell at Inter.

He’s also got an, ahem, interesting disciplinary record and reputation, having been in trouble for being pictured apparently giving a fascist salute with the Lazio Ultras while suspended for insulting a referee (he claimed not to know the salute's significance or to have heard of Hitler or Mussolini) and was also in trouble for for going on holiday with his family in the Maldives when he was meant to be having treatment in Argentina.

No mention has been made of what fee we have paid for him, which suggests it must be quite a lot. The club has been quick to post a clip of Zarate scoring with a stunning overhead kick, so let’s hope he can provide the entertainment promised. He certainly looks the sort of player who can benefit from the physical presence of Andy Carroll…

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