Manuel Pellegrini believes West Ham‘s record signing Felipe Anderson gives his team a “new dimension”.
Anderson signed for a reported £33.5million, potentially rising to £42million, from Lazio on Sunday.
“We feel he will bring a new dimension to the squad but also complement the attacking players we already have,” manager Pellegrini said.
The 25-year-old Brazil midfielder was the Hammers’ seventh summer capture and former Manchester City boss Pellegrini reckons Anderson can combine style and substance.
“Felipe has a very natural and skilful ability, in the traditional style of Brazilian football, but has proven at Lazio that he also has the strength and mentality to play at the top level in European football,” the Chilean added.
Anderson joined fellow new recruits Ryan Fredericks, Lukasz Fabianski, Issa Diop, Jack Wilshere, Andriy Yarmolenko and Fabian Balbuena at the London Stadium.
Pellegrini praised the Hammers hierarchy for supporting the squad strengthening. Co-chairmen David Gold and David Sullivan and vice-chairman Karren Brady were repeatedly targeted for criticism by West Ham fans last season.
“We are very happy with the players we have signed since I arrived and it gives us a big confidence ahead of the new season,” Pellegrini added.
“The club have made a very big investment this summer and I must thank the owners for their support and backing.
“It has been a very successful week for us with the arrival of four new players, and we look forward to implementing their qualities into our plans and preparations.”
Pellegrini predicts Paraguay defender Balbuena is ready for rigours of the Premier League.
The Hammers boss said: “Fabian is a strong and talented defender who has shown great leadership qualities with Corinthians in Brazil.
“He is ready to prove his quality on a bigger stage and I believe he has the right character to succeed in the Premier League.”
The Chilean striker was not among the United party which headed across the Atlantic on Sunday amid speculation that there was an issue with his visa after he accepted a 16-month suspended sentence in Spain over a tax issue.
A spokesperson later confirmed his absence was down to a “personal administrative issue” which it is hoped will soon be resolved to allow the player to join the party at a later date.
United flew to Los Angeles on Sunday evening and will play five games, including three International Champions Cup matches against Real Madrid, AC Milan and Liverpool, during their stay.
Sanchez arrived at Old Trafford in January in a swap deal which saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan move in the opposite direction, but scored only three goals in 18 appearances in all competitions.
The 59-year-old Sarri was confirmed as the London club’s new boss on Saturday, 24 hours after Conte was sacked.
Sarri has given his first interview since joining Chelsea, speaking to official club app The 5th Stand.
“First of all I want to play my football, I want to enjoy myself. And probably I want also to win something,” Sarri said.
“With one or two adjustments we can try to play my football.
“It’s impossible in my job to promise something, but I surely would give all my possessions to win something with Chelsea.”
Chelsea finished fifth in the Premier League last season, 30 points adrift of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, and behind Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United, Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham and Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.
‘I would give all of my possessions to win something with Chelsea.’
🎥 Maurizio Sarri’s first interview as Chelsea head coach is a must watch on our new app!
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) July 16, 2018
Conte was axed last Friday, 55 days after leading the Blues to the FA Cup and a year after signing an improved contract, but not an extension, following the 2016-17 Premier League title success in his first campaign in England.
There appeared to be little fun going on at Chelsea at times last season.
Sarri, speaking in English in a video interview, added: “Chelsea is one of the most important clubs in the most important championship in Europe.
“In the Premier League there are all the most important coaches in Europe, maybe in the world.
“It will be for me very exciting to play against Guardiola, Pochettino, Mourinho, Klopp and the others.
“I think Chelsea is a good team. The problem is that in England there are another five, six, very good teams.”
Sarri, whose first game as boss is scheduled to be the July 23 friendly against Perth Glory in Western Australia, was asked about living in London.
He added: “I am here for football. I am here for Chelsea. I want to play at Stamford Bridge. For me it’s a dream. London is a wonderful city, but I’m here for Chelsea.”
He was also asked about Jorginho, the Italy midfielder who joined him in swapping Naples for the English capital.
Sarri added: “Jorginho is not a physical player. He’s a technical player, but the most important quality is he’s very quick in the mind. He has the ability to move the ball very quickly.”
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) July 14, 2018
Earlier, Conte issued a statement through the League Managers’ Association which was gracious and made no reference to any ill-feeling there may have been about his exit.
The former Juventus and Italy boss often hinted at grievances with the Chelsea hierarchy, particularly over transfer policy, and was discarded with a year remaining on his contract and despite overseeing the start of pre-season training for the 2018-19 campaign.
Conte thanked his players, staff and the Blues fans – and perhaps the omission of the Chelsea board and owner Roman Abramovich was deliberate and notable.
He added: “It was fantastic for me to be able to share my emotions, passion and enthusiasm throughout two unforgettable seasons with these amazing Chelsea supporters, who will always stay in my heart.
“I hope Chelsea will continue to be successful and I wish everyone well for next season.
“I have made many memories during my time with Chelsea, which I will take with me into my next challenge.”
Chelsea’s usual policy is to continue to pay a sacked manager’s salary until the expiry of the contract or until he finds a new job.
Conte is reportedly prepared to wait for a high-calibre position, with no obvious attractive vacancy at present.
LMA chief executive Richard Bevan anticipates Conte will be sought after following his stint at Chelsea.
Provided by Press Association Sport