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Friday 11 January 2013

West Ham bolster attack with signing of Wellington Paulista

Brazilian forward joins on six-month loan while Reading sign Stephen Kelly from Fulham

  • Wellington was Cruzeiro's top scorer with 27 goals last season

West Ham United have confirmed the signing of Cruzeiro striker Wellington Paulista on a six-month loan deal, with the option for a further three years.

The 29-year-old becomes West Ham manager Sam Allardyce's fourth signing of the January transfer window after the acquisitions of Joe Cole, Sean Maguire and Marouane Chamakh.

The 6ft forward can play as a main striker or operate on either wing and finished last season as Cruzeiro's top scorer with 27 goals. The player said he moved to West Ham to showcase his talents outside his home country and is not worried by the pressure of playing in the Barclays Premier League.

"I am coming to prove I am one of the best strikers in Brazil"
Wellington Paulista

"I can do my best here and I am coming to England to prove to everyone that I am one of the best strikers in Brazil and to get better and better," he told West Ham's website. "I am strong, I am a fighter and I can score with both feet. I run a lot on the pitch and I can play as either as first or second striker.

"The pressure will not be a problem for me because I am used to it from my time in Brazil, where the fans were really addicted to the club. The manager also put pressure on the players too, so it will be the same playing here."

West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan said: "He is another exciting player to add to our squad and although he may not be that well known on these shores, he comes with an excellent track record in Brazil.

"His arrival is similar to some of the other 'wildcard' players we have signed before like Demba Ba and Ilan. They both made significant contributions and if he can match their efforts he will be an excellent acquisition for West Ham United."

Reading move for Kelly

Reading Football Club have announced the signing of full-back Stephen Kelly from Fulham.

The 29-year-old Republic of Ireland defender has made 125 Barclays Premier League appearances for Tottenham Hotspur, Birmingham City, Stoke City and Fulham and joins Reading on a two-and-a-half-year deal to become the club’s third signing of the January transfer window, after Daniel Carrico and Hope Akpan.

"I’m delighted to have Stephen here,” Reading manager Brian McDermott told the Reading website. “He has played a lot of games in the Premier League and more than 30 times for his country. He’s the kind of player I’ve been talking about – someone with great experience, but at 29 still very young in football terms and at a really good stage in his career.

"I’ve always liked him as a player, and the first time I met him was at Kevin Doyle’s wedding a while ago now and I thought he was a top guy. I know he’s going to fit into the dressing room here really well. He’s up for the fight, up for the battle, he’s hungry, he wants to do well and I know he’ll be successful for us."

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Key Points

  • West Ham sign Wellington Paulista from Cruzeiro
  • The forward has joined on a six-month loan with an option for a further three years
  • Reading sign Ireland defender Stephen Kelly from Fulham