IN A TRANSFER news story that we can file under “shirt-less fan protest at St James’ Park”, Kevin Nolan today completed his surprise move to relegated West Ham.
The 28-year-old midfielder has left Newcastle for an undisclosed fee, believed to be up to £4million, and agreed a five-year deal at Upton Park.
New Hammers boss Sam Allardyce will make Nolan the club’s captain in the hope he can repeat his heroics of two seasons ago, when his 17 goals helped the Magpies bounce straight back into the Barclays Premier League after their relegation.
The deal is a real coup for Allardyce, who has landed a player he knows well from their successful spell together at Bolton and who hit 12 top-flight goals last term.
As well as taking over as skipper from the out-of-contract Matt Upson, Nolan’s arrival will also soften the blow of Scott Parker’s inevitable move back to the Premier League with Tottenham his likely destination.
However, Nolan’s departure from St James’ Park, after he failed to agree an extension to his contract, has not gone down well on Tyneside with fellow midfielder Joey Barton admitting the news made him feel “sick”.
Nolan rejected an offer of a new deal from Newcastle recently, signalling his intent to leave the club as he was unhappy with the terms offered.
- additional reporting PA