Clarke praise for West Ham's window shopping

West Ham assistant boss Steve Clarke believes the club's dealings in the January transfer window have strengthened the squad as the Hammers bid to achieve European qualification

By JONATHAN CLEGG

West Ham assistant boss Steve Clarke believes the club's dealings in the January transfer window have strengthened the squad as the Hammers bid to achieve European qualification in the final months of the season.

The club completed their second major signing of the window last week as Czech international Radoslav Kovac moved to Upton Park on a six-month loan from Spartak Moscow.

Promising teenager Savio Nsereko also joined the club in a possible record deal, while Craig Bellamy's �14m switch to Manchester City was the only significant departure.


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And Clarke believes the double additions of Kovac and Savio will improve the in-form Hammers, who are challenging for Europe after extending their unbeaten record to eight matches with a goalless draw at Arsenal last weekend.

"Kovac is a good signing for us because he can play in the midfield, he can play at the back [and] he is an experienced player, a Czech Republic international, who passes the ball well," Clarke said.

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"He is not a forward going player, he is more defensive, but he gives us good balance to the squad.

"Savio has settled in okay - I thought when he came on [at Arsenal] he was bright and lively, good on the ball and showed he is not afraid and got stuck into a few tackles.

"From where we were in October, to where we are now, there has been a significant progress at the club.

"I think you can see now that we have a team which knows what they are doing and is working hard for each other, and you get your rewards."

The Hammers failed to land a pair of deadline-day targets after the club was unable to agree personal terms with Panathinaikos defender Bryce Moon or Dinamo Bucharest full-back Sergiu Homei, but promising goalkeeper Peter Kurucz has joined the club on loan from Ujpest FC, according to the Hungarian club.

West Ham have also decided to take up the option to sign defender Herita Ilunga to a long-term contract when his loan from Toulouse expires at the end of the season.

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