West Ham United have confirmed the signing of Belgian midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate from Anderlecht for an undisclosed fee.
The 24-year-old has arrived from the Belgian champions after signing a for year contract at Upton Park to become the club's second summer acquisition, following the arrival of Argentine striker Mauro Zarate.
The six foot four Senegal international who can be deployed in both defence and midfield had attracted interest from the likes of Valencia and Porto but West Ham have fought off the competition to win his signature.
"I know a few players who were also at the club, [Carlos] Tevez, Demba [Ba], Andy Carroll, who was obviously here last season. West Ham are a team who are known and who are going to help me to progress," he told the club's official website.
"For my part, I'm going try to do great things here and try to improve further still as a player.
Kouyate, who featured in last season's Champions League for Anderlecht, also paid tribute to Hammers boss Sam Allardyce for his keen desire to bring him to the Boleyn Ground.
"That I'm here now is thanks to the manager, because he went out of his way, leaving his holiday for me, so he has done everything he could for me to join the club. He, my advisers and agents helped me make the right decision and said West Ham was the ideal club for me, because as a kid I dreamed of playing in the Premier League and now it's here that my dream has been realised."
Co-chairman David Sullivan confirmed the club had fought of interest from a number of clubs across the continent to bring Kouate to east London.
"I am absolutely delighted to have clinched the signing of Cheikhou after weeks of tough negotiations that saw us beat off the challenge of some huge clubs across Europe for his signature," Sullivan said.
"He comes with vast experience at the top level - including the Champions League - despite being only 24 and I am sure he will add valuable competition to places."