New West Ham signing Nayef Aguerd has revealed he wanted to choose the No.6 shirt but settled for 27 due to a request from his best friend in Morocco.
The 26-year-old centre-back signed a five-year deal at the London Stadium on Monday after the Hammers agreed on a fee of around £30million with French side Rennes. Aguerd is the first signing of the summer for David Moyes and addresses a key position on the pitch that the manager felt needed strengthening in the window.
Moyes is said to be a big fan of Aguerd having tracked his progress for several months before making his mind up and trying to bring him to east London. After he was announced as a new player, Moyes referenced Aguerd’s character and attitude during negotiations as an indicator he’d made the right choice.
READ MORE: West Ham told key reason why Nayef Aguerd can be huge for David Moyes
But despite ticking all the right boxes so far, West Ham weren’t willing to give their new man the retired No.6 shirt that he wanted. The number was worn by Hammers legend Bobby Moore who famously lifted England’s only World Cup trophy at Wembley as captain in 1966.
Moore made his first appearance for the club aged 17 against Manchester United in 1958, with West Ham officially retiring his shirt number 50 years later in 2008, with Matthew Upson, who had been wearing the No.6 prior to the announcement, moving to the No.15.
And after realising he couldn’t take the number of the legend Moore, Aguerd said he chose 27 after making a promise to a close friend to one day wear the same number of his favourite player – Argentinian midfielder Javier Pastore.
“My best friend in Morocco, I had a promise for him – because this is his best number – so I told him ‘in my career one day I will put this number for sure,” Aguerd told West Ham’s website. “Because of Pastore, he’s No.27 and he loves Pastore so he says I want you to wear No.27 so I said ‘one day in my career I will do it’.
“I wanted here in West Ham No.6 – because in Rennes I was six – but I know (about Moore), I know the story don’t worry. He is a legend.”
Aguerd also revealed what role Moyes played in him joining the club, outlining how he was made to feel wanted by the Scotsman during meetings leading up to his arrival.
“It’s very important when you want to move clubs to talk to the coach to see if there’s interest,” he added. “It was good. We spoke about the team. I don’t know too many players in West Ham but I will learn all the names. He showed me he’s interested so it was easy to choose and come to West Ham.”
And when he was asked how he wants to see West Ham perform next season, Aguerd said: “West Ham this year will play in the Europa Conference League and we need to play every game. I’ll do my best to help the team and to try and keep the team at the top. It’ll be hard but we’ll be doing everything to make everyone happy.”
Source by Football London