Alex Song
Alex Song is set to adopt a central role in West Ham's season while on loan from BarcelonaGetty Images/Stu Forster

Alex Song said a rousing speech from West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce urged him to swap Barcelona for Upton Park during the summer transfer window.

The former Arsenal midfielder moved to east London on a season-long loan deal in one of nine signings made by Allardyce.

Song was heavily linked with moves throughout Europe but he admitted the attraction of the West Ham "project" saw him turn down moves to Champions League clubs.

"It was very easy," he said in The Sun. "I wanted to come back to the Premier League and when the manager spoke to me, I was very happy to be part of the project.

"Some people said: 'Why don't you go to play for a club in the Champions League?' But I played Champions League [football] for nine years. For me it wasn't important.

"I've many years to play there again, I am confident. I want, this year, just to play for West Ham and do my best and then we'll see what's happening."

The Cameroon international made his West Ham debut in the 2-2 draw with Hull City, which saw Enner Valencia score an early goal-of-the-season contender to help grab a point.

And Valencia's first league goal impressed Song, who admitted the finish was typical of the Ecuador World Cup star's form in training during the pair's short time together at the club.

"It was an unbelievable strike but we've seen him do that in training and we keep telling him to keep shooting," he said. "That's a big goal for him.

"It is always good to get your first one and if he keeps striking them like that he'll get a few more for us.

"He's got a leap on him, too. It doesn't matter how big you are if you have that and you're a good header of the ball."