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Tristan finalises Hammers switch

PUBLISHED: 10:54 16 October 2008 | UPDATED: 13:42 05 October 2010

By JONATHAN CLEGG FORMER Spain hitman Diego Tristan has vowed to repay Gianfranco Zola s faith in him after signing a permanent deal at West Ham this week. Tristan became Zola s first signing on Tuesday after impressing the Hammers boss during a two-week

By JONATHAN CLEGG

FORMER Spain hitman Diego Tristan has vowed to repay Gianfranco Zola's faith in him after signing a permanent deal at West Ham this week.

Tristan became Zola's first signing on Tuesday after impressing the Hammers boss during a two-week trial at Upton Park.

Zola had challenged the 32-year-old to prove his fitness in order to earn a permanent contract at the club as the Italian searched for a short-term replacement for injured striker Dean Ashton.

Tristan has since proved to the West Ham manager that he can cope with the rigours of English football and has promised to reward Zola for showing confidence in him.

He said: "I'm happy with this agreement with West Ham.

"I have always been a huge Premier League fan and I did play well against English clubs during my time with Deportivo La Coruna. As a consequence I am hopeful I will experience the same luck.

"Zola persuaded me to sign and I think the project is good. The trial proved positive and people welcomed me warmly.

"For sure I want to pay that confidence back to my new club. The contract runs until the end of the season and it's a massive aim for me at this time of my career."

The deal was completed on Tuesday evening after Hammers chief executive Scott Duxbury flew to Rome to finalise the move with Tristan's representatives.

Tristan was one of Europe's most feared marksmen during a six-year spell at Deportivo La Coruna, scoring 77 goals in 179 appearances and earning 15 caps for Spain, but he has been looking for a new club following an unhappy spell at Livorno last season.

The striker scored one goal in 20 appearances as the club were relegated from Serie A and he was released on a free transfer during the summer.

But Tristan is determined to prove that he is still capable of making an impact and restoring his reputation as a top-class goalscorer.

"I can still play a couple of good years of football, even though I thought of retiring after not receiving interesting offers in the summer," said Tristan.

"Right now I must settle quickly into English football. I want to show the fans that I can score goals and help the team to go up the league.

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