Cole thanks Hammers duo

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New West Ham man Carlton Cole says that he was persuaded to move to Upton Park by England Under-21 team-mates Nigel Reo-Cocker and Anton Ferdinand.

Cole finally decided to leave Chelsea after a few seasons struggling to get regular first team chances and being sent out on several loan moves by Jose Mourinho. 

After completing a move to Alan Pardew's West Ham, Cole says his international team-mates convinced him to join The Hammers.

"Whenever we've been away with England they are always telling me how great it is at West Ham and that I'd really enjoy playing here if I ever got the chance," Cole told the club's website.

"I'm really excited about making that step now and really looking forward to teaming up with them at club level."

22-year-old Cole has spent a decade at Stamford Bridge after coming through the youth ranks, but has now finally accepted he must leave to further his career.

"Chelsea is all I've ever known, having been there since the age of 12, and it was quite emotional to leave the club but I knew it was the right decision for my career and I thank them for allowing me to take this opportunity," added Cole.

"It's a fantastic challenge and I'm so glad that West Ham came in for me. I'm looking forward to the start of pre-season training next week and I'm just determined to be a success at Upton Park.

"For me, it's a fantastic opportunity to come to a big club that is clearly moving forward. The manager (Alan Pardew) had a great influence on my decision.

"It's a young squad here and I'm just happy to be a part of it now. There's so much to look forward to, what with the Uefa Cup next season and the chance to progress in The Premiership, and I can't wait to get started."

Cole faces another battle for football at Upton Park with Dean Ashton, Marlon Harewood, Bobby Zamora and Teddy Sheringham all vying for starting places.

However, now he is a West Ham player he is determined to prove himself as a regular Premiership starter.

"I'm just relieved that everything is done and dusted now and that I can say I am a West Ham player.

"There has been a lot of speculation about my future and where I was going, but I'm delighted to have finally signed."