Pardew: Ashton signing a 'statement of intent'
West Ham have announced that Dean Ashton has completed his £7m move from Norwich, breaking records at both clubs. West Ham boss Alan Pardew said the signing was a "statement of intent" to other teams in the Premiership.
West Ham have announced that Dean Ashton has completed his £7m move from Norwich, breaking records at both clubs.
Ashton signed a four-and-a-half year contract at the Boleyn Ground (Upton Park) at 5.30pm today after successfully completing his medical.
He will wear the No 9 shirt and will be available for the Hammers' FA Cup fourth round match against Blackburn Rovers this Saturday.
Norwich will receive a further £250,000 if certain conditions are achieved. In addition Norwich have secured a sell-on clause guaranteeing them 15pc of any profit should Ashton be transferred from West Ham in the future.
At a press conference this evening, West Ham boss Alan Pardew said the signing was a "statement of intent" to other teams in the Premiership.
"People may have thought we panicked to buy a striker but that is not the case," he said. "We've probably paid a little over the odds, considering where he is in his career but for us it just fits perfectly.
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"He can justify the fee and maybe be worth more in the future. It's a statement of intent for us to compete with some of the bigger teams in the league."
He added: "For me, I have no doubts he is going to be a big player for us."
Alan Pardew said he pushed the West Ham board because he was sure Ashton fitted into the club.
"When you look at a player who is 22, plays in the Championship and then look at the fee, I think they are quite right to question it to some degree. I just pushed them."
"I do not see it as a gamble."
"You are talking about an England Under-21 international, who has had more shots on target than any other player in the Championship and had a good record in the Premiership."
Pardew believes veteran striker Teddy Sheringham will be the perfect foil for Ashton in terms of passing on his experience.
The manager added: "Dean's style of play is the type a person like Teddy is perfect to play off in terms of how to play the role that Teddy plays, and that is a key point."
Ashton, 22, was delighted to have the chance of proving himself in the top flight again after his goals almost saved Norwich from relegation last season.
"I am sorry to leave Norwich, because they gave me the opportunity, but when West Ham came along I jumped at the chance to get back in the Premiership."
"It has always been my ambition to play in the Premiership regularly, and hopefully I can do that here and improve."
"I put pressure on myself to perform anyway, so I don't really think about the fee, I just want to improve.
"I am flattered by the fee, but I am going to work hard to repay that."
He added: "I have played a lot of games this season and have got that basic match fitness."
"I will be working hard this week and hoping to be fit for Saturday."
And he hopes the move aid his England ambitions - "It is definitely a club who is moving forwards, you can see that by how they have been performing this season."
"Hopefully I can play as well as I can and you never know where that is going to take you."