Premier League: West Ham's Enner Valencia targets Europe
Last Updated: 08/08/14 9:41am
Enner Valencia: Confident West Ham can challenge for European qualification
Enner Valencia has set his sights on playing in Europe with West Ham United after turning down several offers from other clubs to make the move to Upton Park.
Valencia impressed for Ecuador with three goals at the World Cup to spark widespread interest, but the Hammers fended off the competition to sign him for a reported fee of £12million.
The 24-year-old was attracted by the idea of playing in England and also excited by West Ham’s ambition, insisting they can even push for a UEFA Champions League spot in time.
"Before signing we spoke a lot about that, the ambitions of the club to try to play European football," Valencia said. "I'm going to work very hard for it and they're going to try to make top four.
"After the World Cup several offers came around but when I found out that West Ham were interested I said definitely yes because it is one of my dreams to play in the Premier League.
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"I spoke to Antonio Valencia and he gave me some good advice to take this opportunity."
Valencia agreed a five-year contract with West Ham and is already looking forward to the club’s move to the Olympic Stadium.
He added: "When I heard the news that West Ham might come to the stadium, I was delighted. It's a great venue, one of the best in the world and I'm looking forward to playing here in 2016."
Valencia was given an extended break after the World Cup and is set to miss West Ham's Premier League opener against Tottenham Hotspur as he still needs to build match fitness, but he does not expect his debut to be delayed by long.
"I'm training normally now and trying to adapt to what the manager wants and the philosophy of the club. I'm expecting to be ready in between one or two weeks."