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Bellamy ‘can be a hit at Hammers’ - Gabbidon

Bellamy ‘can be a hit at Hammers’ - Gabbidon

Jun 12 2007

Liverpool Daily Post

Wales captain Craig Bellamy

LIVERPOOL striker Craig Bellamy has been told to jump at the chance to join his Wales team-mates at West Ham.

Bellamy, recently named Wales captain in the wake of Ryan Giggs’ retirement from international football, is believed to be a summer target for the Hammers with a £9m fee mooted.

With Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez needing to sell players to bolster his transfer kitty, Bellamy and Harry Kewell could well be sacrificed.

Bellamy, already a target for Aston Villa, Blackburn and Newcastle, is wanted by West Ham manager Alan Curbishley as a partner for Dean Ashton with a £70,000 a week wages package on offer.

And Bellamy’s arrival at Upton Park would meet with the approval of West Ham and Wales defenders Danny Gabbidon and James Collins.

Gabbidon said: “He would love it at West Ham. He would be an instant fans’ favourite.

“Craig is a quality player but what West Ham fans would love is that he never stops running, even if the team are 3-0 down,” he said.

“He is a defender’s nightmare, like a terrier snapping at your heels. I have never known him give less than 100%.”

He added: “Craig would be a great signing for us and would definitely improve the squad.

“The manager has a lot of money to spend and Craig is the kind of player the club are trying to attract to improve the team so we do not have any relegation troubles next season.

“We have got Dean Ashton returning after missing last season after suffering a broken ankle.

“Dean and Craig would make a great partnership, Dean is a tall and skilful front man while Craig is a hard-working, quick striker with great movement.”

Curbishley intends to supplement his squad rather than radically change it despite the club’s narrow escape from relegation.

Curbishley has already brought in midfielder Scott Parker from Newcastle for £7m and the former Charlton manager is being linked with a host of other names.

“I am not saying I will sign 11 players and move everyone out. We have a strong squad here when they are all fit,” he said.

“Lucas Neill and Luis Boa Morte were the only players involved on the last day at Old Trafford who weren’t here when I arrived.

“Danny Gabiddon was player of the year in 2006 and I missed him greatly. Matthew Upson and Dean Ashton have barely kicked a ball because of injury – that is £13m of talent.

“If there are players who can improve us, we will try to get them. If I can add to the squad I will but if nothing else happens until we kick off, I have a lot to work with.”

There are certain to be more changes, however, as Hammers captain Nigel Reo-Coker handed in a transfer request at the end of the season and appears to be on his way to Aston Villa.

“He is a West Ham player at the moment but he has made clear his desire to leave. We responded to that request and we will see where we go,” said Curbishley, who added that no formal bid had yet been received.


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