West Ham United have completed the signing of Ajax midfielder Edson Alvarez.
The east London club reached a verbal agreement with Ajax to sign Alvarez for around €40million (£34.4m) including bonuses earlier this week.
The 25-year-old has signed a five-year deal with West Ham and becomes their first summer arrival.
“I am very happy and very proud to be here,” said Alvarez, who will wear the No 19 shirt at his new club. “Being here in London and seeing London Stadium, it’s amazing. I can’t wait to play here in front of the West Ham fans.
“It’s a hugely sentimental moment for me in my career. To join a club like a West Ham is a dream for me and my family.
“The Premier League is a special league, the best league in the world and I think my style will suit it. I now have a responsibility to West Ham and the West Ham family and I will give absolutely everything for the shirt.”
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West Ham have been looking to strengthen their midfield following the departure of Declan Rice to Arsenal at the beginning of the transfer window. They have also agreed deals to sign Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse and Manchester United defender Harry Maguire.
Alvarez — who has also been deployed as a centre-back — was a constant presence in the Ajax side last season, making 44 appearances in all competitions.
The Mexico international was the subject of Premier League interest last summer, with Chelsea making a €50m (£42.8m) offer to Ajax for his services, but a move fell through late in the window as Ajax felt there was insufficient time to find a replacement.
“We’re really pleased to add Edson to our squad,” West Ham manager David Moyes added. “The midfield area was one we were especially keen to strengthen this summer – and Edson will complement the other options we have in that department.”
West Ham begin their Premier League season against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday.
What can West Ham expect from Alvarez?
Analysis from Felipe Cardenas
Alvarez plays as a classic ball-playing holding midfielder. The former Club America academy product is skilled in possession and has stood out both with Ajax and with the Mexico national team for his passing accuracy and game awareness.
Alvarez will be the focal point of West Ham’s build-up play, and if needed, he can play as a third centre-back. Alvarez isn’t known for his pace, but he is a good tackler and reads the game well to compensate for his lack of pace.
In Mexico, Alvarez has been lauded for his leadership abilities, having been pegged as a future national team captain. After a difficult start at Ajax, Alvarez grew to become one of the club’s most important players. He settled in Europe and excelled under current Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag, his former coach at Ajax.
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