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Football: West Ham's Valencia granted work permit

Ecuador striker Enner Valencia has completed his move to West Ham United after he was granted a work permit on Tuesday (July 29), the Premier League club announced.

LONDON: Ecuador striker Enner Valencia has completed his move to West Ham United after he was granted a work permit on Tuesday (July 29), the Premier League club announced. Valencia, 24, agreed to join the Hammers from Mexican side Pachuca on a five-year contract earlier this month after being his country's standout performer at the World Cup.

"I really appreciate the welcome I've been given and I'm excited to be here," Valencia told the club's in-house television channel, West Ham TV. "I've already watched and read a lot about the club to learn about it - I know the fans are really passionate and I'm really glad to have signed. It's exciting to be here in England and London. I want to repay the club in my performances for what they are investing in me and I'm really looking forward to it."

Reports in England suggested the transfer fee came close to the club record sum of £15 million (18.9 million euro) paid for striker Andy Carroll last summer.

Formerly of Ecuadorean side Emelec, Valencia only joined Pachuca in January this year but his excellent performances at the World Cup generated widespread interest from clubs in Europe. Valencia scored all three of Ecuador's goals in Brazil, including a brace in a 2-1 victory against Honduras, but he could not prevent the South American nation from being eliminated in the group stage.

"The World Cup was a good tournament for me personally, I scored three times and for my first World Cup it was a good experience, but I hope my next one is better for me and the team," added Valencia. "Of course, the World Cup gives me confidence to come to Europe and I want to take and advance with this opportunity that West Ham have given to me."

Valencia is West Ham's fifth summer signing following the captures of Argentine forward Mauro Zarate, Senegal defender Cheikhou Kouyate, left-back Aaron Cresswell and youngster Diego Poyet.

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