Our striker crisis deepened when Andy Carroll and Carlton Cole both went down injured in a matter of weeks but we moved quickly to secure the services of Brazilian forward Anderson Luiz de Carvalho commonly known as ‘Nene’. The JundiaÃ-born man joins a long list of South Americans to ply their trade at the Boleyn including Ilan, Franco, and, of course, Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano. Here are five things you may not know about our new number 12.
1) He is a bit of a journey man. Having started his career in 1999, Nene has represented no fewer than 11 clubs all around the world including stints in Spain, Brazil, France and even Qatar before signing on the dotted line in east London. His most successful spell was at one of the world’s biggest clubs having bagged 36 goals in 79 games for Paris Saint-Germain during a fruitful stint at the Parc des Princes.
2) He is known for his free kicks. The winger has a wicked left foot, which has left fans around the world branding him as a bit of specialist from dead ball situations. Something that will leave the Hammers faithful purring, no more awful Mark Noble corners and those floaty free kicks that go straight down the goalkeeper’s throat. A quick YouTube search will show that the left winger can pop up at vital times with last ditch pingers into the top corner, here is hoping he can produce some magic moments in claret and blue.
3) He won best foreign player of 2010. During one of the best spells in his career the winger claimed the best foreigner award in France in 2010 after a successful stints with Monaco and PSG. He continued to shine during his time with the French Champions and he finished the season after as the highest goal scorer in Ligue 1.
4) He is pretty famous on FIFA. Now the first thing most people do when a shiny new signing pitches up at Upton Park is look at his stats and skills on either Football Manager or FIFA. A quick look on YouTube will show plenty of videos of free kicks on the well-known console game. The Brazilian was also named as an ambassador on the game in 2013 edition, as well as claiming an in-form and team of the year card in the same edition.
5) He is a pretty top guy outside of football too. Born in the same neighbourhood as world class Brazilian superstar Neymar, the new Hammers star teams up with the Barcelona man once a year in his birth place to hold a charity match. The duo bring a number of superstars together to raise money for hungry and needy families in Jundiai. The clash last season ended in a thrilling 5-4 victory for Team Neymar.