West Ham boost ranks with Senegal international
Sam Allardyce cut short his holiday to snap up Cheikhou Kouyate from Belgian champions Anderlecht this week.
The 24-year-old, who has played five times for the Senegal national side, has signed a four-year deal after West Ham agreed an undisclosed fee for him.
Kouyate paid tribute to Hammers' boss Allardyce for his efforts in signing him.
"That I'm here now is thanks to the manager, because he went out of his way, leaving his holiday for me, so he has done everything he could for me to join the club," he said.
"He, my advisers and agents helped me make the right decision and said West Ham was the ideal club for me, because as a kid I dreamed of playing in the Premier League and now it's here that my dream has been realised."
The 6ft 4ins defensive midfielder was born in the Senegalese capital Dakar before moving to Europe at 15.
He played 145 league games in six seasons for Anderlecht and joins Argentine forward Mauro Zarate at West Ham as club's second summer signing.