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West Ham snap up highly-rated Senegal defender

12:00 18 June 2014

Anderlecht

Anderlecht's Cheikhou Kouyate in Chammpions League action (Photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images)

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West Ham have signed central defender Cheikhou Kouyaté from Belgian side Anderlecht for a fee believed to be around £7million on a four-year deal.

The 24-year-old becomes the Hammers’ second signing of the summer, following Argentine striker Mauro Zarate through the Upton Park doors.

Kouyate, a centre back who can also play in midfield, will add much needed bite to the Hammers defence after they saw Roger Johnson, George McCartney, Matty Taylor, and Pablo Armero all leave the club at the end of last season.

Sam Allardyce has promised fans a more attractive style of play but the former Bolton and Newcastle boss knows the importance of a solid defence.

It is unclear whether this big money addition will see movement for Winston Reid or James Tomkins out of the club but at this stage the East Enders can now look at improving their attacking areas before the start of next season.

A London derby with rivals Tottenham kicks off the campaign and Allardyce will be under huge pressure to get off to the perfect start with the majority of fans still not fully behind him.

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