Football News

West Ham United make Roberto their first summer signing

By Chris Smith

Published: 13:09, 31 May 2019

West Ham United have announced the signing of experienced Spanish goalkeeper Roberto on a free transfer.

The 33-year-old will move to the London Stadium on July 1 once his contract with Espanyol expires and has signed a two-year deal with the Hammers with the option of a third year.

West Ham’s transfer window begins: Five things to know…

  1. West Ham have completed the signing of 33-year-old goalkeeper, Roberto, on a free transfer.
  2. The Spaniard will join from Espanyol in July 1 when his current deal expires.
  3. Roberto has made over 300 senior appearances during his career and has signed a two-year deal.
  4. Fellow Spanish ‘keeper Adrian will leave West Ham this summer at the end of his contract.
  5. Roberto says he is excited over a “new challenge”.

Roberto has made over 300 senior career appearances – winning titles with the likes of Olympiacos and Benfica – and has expressed his excitement over a “new challenge”.

“From the beginning when I knew I was going to come here, I was very excited about the new experience,” Roberto told West Ham’s official website.

“I consider this step a big step in my career. I think everyone who follows football knows the importance of this club, so I’m really excited.

“I am looking forward to playing in the Premier League, of course. It’s a big challenge as I consider this to be one of the two best and biggest leagues in the world, with our league in Spain, and I think it’s a dream for every player to come here and play in the Premier League, so I’m looking forward to getting started.”

West Ham director of football, Mario Husillos, has previously worked with Roberto at Malaga and believes the club have signed a ‘fantastic goalkeeper’.

“I worked with Roberto during my time at Malaga,” he said. “He is a fantastic goalkeeper, who has a great deal of experience in football, having played at the highest level.

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“During his time at Olympiakos, I spoke regularly with the coaches and many of them spoke about Roberto as one of the biggest goalkeepers in the history of the club.

“He is at a brilliant age for a goalkeeper, and we are extremely happy to bring him to West Ham United. He is a brilliant professional and a brilliant person. He has all the qualities to play in the Premier League and be very successful.”

Are West Ham making up players?

Roberto may offer extra back-up and competition for the impressive Lukasz Fabianski but that doesn’t mean West Ham supporters are overly impressed with their club’s first piece of summer business.

Among some interesting reactions on the club’s Twitter account, some Hammers followers even questioned whether or not Roberto was a real player.