Centre-back Cheikhou Kouyate has joined West Ham, becoming the club's second summer signing

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Cheikhou Kouyate (left) battles with Everton's Steven Pienaar of Australia whilst on international duty with Senegal. Picture: Action Images Cheikhou Kouyate (left) battles with Everton's Steven Pienaar of Australia whilst on international duty with Senegal. Picture: Action Images

West Ham United have bolstered their defensive options with the signing of Senegalese centre-back, Cheikhou Kouyate.

The 24-year-old moves to Upton Park from Anderlecht on a four-year deal for an undisclosed fee, believed to be in the region of £7m.

Kouyate began his career with Belgian side Brussels before joining Anderlecht in 2008.

Speaking to the club's website, Kouyate said: "I am very happy, because today West Ham have given me the chance to play in the Premier League. So I'm very happy to join such a club and that gives me great pleasure.

"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, 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," said the powerful defender.

Born in Dakar, Senegal, the 6ft4in defender quickly became a mainstay of the side at Anderlecht and helped the club to three Belgian league titles and three Belgian Super Cup wins in his six years at the club.

A full Senegal international, where he is a team-mate of Mo Diame, Kouyate took part in the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Kouyate has also featured in the Champions League, something co-owner David Sullivan described as 'valuable': "I am absolutely delighted to have clinched the signing of Cheikhou after weeks of tough negotiations that saw us beat off the challenge of some huge clubs across Europe for his signature.

"He comes with vast experience at the top level - including the Champions League - despite being only 24 and I am sure he will add valuable competition to places."

Kouyate becomes West Ham's second summer signing after the addition of former Velez Sarsfield forward, Mauro Zarate.

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