West Ham manager Sam Allardyce believes that Andy Carroll’s decision to join the club was swayed by the year-long loan he spent with the club last season.
The 24-year-old was signed for a fee believed to be in the region of £15 million – a club record for the Hammers – and it will see Carroll pick-up where he left off last season.
Allardyce identified the forward as his main priority of the summer, though the deal did take some time to complete due to Carroll being unavailable while on his summer holidays.
But with the deal complete, Allardyce told the clubs official website that their relationship was a big influencing factor towards the switch.
"Our relationship over the 12 months he was here was key to this deal," said Allardyce. “He came to us in a difficult frame of mind and had suffered with injuries but the support the coaching staff and the rest of the boys that work so hard behind the scenes was something he felt very comfortable with in the end.
He met new team-mates over the year and enjoyed their company and I think that definitely helped him to make the decision to return to West Ham. So not only did the loan pay off by us finishing 10th in our first season back in the Premier League but it has paid off by him choosing us."
Carroll completed a £35m transfer from Newcastle to Liverpool in 2011 for what is a record fee for an English player, but he struggled to find any sort of form for the Reds and was shipped out on loan by new boss Brendan Rodger’s who felt the striker did not fit his new system that he was attempting to implement.
The former England striker, who has stated his ambition to return to the squad in time for the 2014 World Cup, has signed a six-year deal in a clear sign that the Irons are planning the future around the towering striker.
"The size of the contract is a statement of West Ham's belief in Andy and Andy's belief in West Ham," Allardyce admitted.
"We expect him to enhance his reputation even further with West Ham and become one of the major strikers in the country and become an England regular - we hope he will produce for West Ham and England as we prepare to move into the Olympic Stadium in 2016.
"We've acquired a player who was recently the most expensive British player in the history of football. We haven't done it cheaply, but we have definitely done it wisely.
"I told him we will improve him at West Ham while we're at the helm and will give him a chance to become a better player. It will reap rewards for us all. He can now put his experience of Liverpool behind him and show them what they missed by letting him go."
Despite Allardyce prioritising the capture of Carroll, he becomes one of four players to join the east London club this summer, after they confirmed the signings of both full-back Razvan Rat and goalkeeper Adrian, while Stockport youngster Danny Whitehead was confirmed as the latest acquisition earlier today.