London (AFP) – Highly-rated full-back Ryan Fredericks became Manuel Pellegrini’s first signing since becoming manager of West Ham after agreeing a move from newly-promoted Premier League rivals Fulham on Tuesday.
The 25-year-old Englishman — who impressed in Fulham’s campaign to regain their elite status and was named by his peers in the Championship team of the season — signed a four-year contract with The Hammers and will join once his present contract with Fulham runs out on July 1.
Fredericks, a former school sprint champion, said West Ham represented a logical step for him to take at this stage of his career even though they have in the past two seasons been mired in a relegation battle.
“It’s amazing for this deal to finally happen,” Fredericks told whufc.com.
“I know we’ve been speaking about it for a while and trying to get things in place and finally, we’ve got it over the line. I’m just buzzing to be here.
“West Ham United is one of the biggest clubs in the Premier League. Everyone knows the history of West Ham and there’s a lot of factors that brought me to the club.
“Obviously, it’s an exciting time for West Ham. The club have just brought in a new manager in Manuel Pellegrini and everyone knows his CV and what he has done in England before and in other leagues as well.”
Pellegrini, who filled the vacuum left by David Moyes after the Scotsman departed despite steering them to safety, said the former Tottenham Hotspur amd Bristol City defender says he can bring a lot to the team.
“He joins having had a successful season with Fulham and is a player who will bring great qualities to our squad,” said Pellegrini.
“He has good experience, with more than 150 senior appearances already but, at 25, he is still a young player with his best years ahead of him.
“Ryan has good character, is hungry to succeed, and has shown me that he has great desire to be a West Ham United player.”