Antonio Nocerino is already eyeing up an extended stay in England.
The Italian international found opportunities in short supply at AC Milan in the first half of the current campaign – handed just seven Serie A starts amongst a wealth of midfield options.
Finding significant distance between the present and his first term at San Siro two years prior – in which he starred in midfield as the Rossoneri fell just short of a second straight league title – the 28-year-old opted for a new adventure abroad in January.
Struggling West Ham snapped up the Naples native on loan alongside compatriot Marco Borriello last month to aid in the fight against relegation and haven’t looked back since.
Though Nocerino has featured for just a total of 35 minutes under Sam Allardyce so far, the Hammers are yet to be defeated since his arrival at Upton Park, climbing out of the bottom three.
And though the Milan-owned operator has barely spent two weeks in his new environment, a permanent Premier League switch is already on his mind.
“I’d like to stay in the Premier League,” he told TuttoMercatoWeb. “It’s a great division.
“London is a beautiful city; the fans, the stadium, the atmosphere makes everything better.
“My goal, however, is to earn the trust of my team-mates and do my best.”
Nocerino’s industriousness in the centre of the park was always viewed as his greatest strength in Italy, something he believes suits him to English football, whilst he’s insisted the transition to a new country has been rather simple.
“I feel that the league suits my characteristics, as it is very fast and physical.
“No difficulties; I’m lucky to have entered a great group of guys.
“For the language, footballing terms are the same, you know, so it’s not too complicated – we don’t lack help at our disposal.”
The Italian hasn’t seen the pitch for his nation since November 2012 but previously expressed hopes that his West Ham move could boost his chances of making the World Cup.
And Allardyce has shared his belief that both Nocerino and Borriello can have a positive effect in the coming months in the fight to stay in the top flight.
The move seems to have offered both club and player an ideal situation – reinforcement and renewed motivation, even if we’ve yet to see a significant amount of the midfielder thus far.
West Ham hosts Norwich on Wednesday in a contest that could see Nocerino make his first start, and he’ll certainly be intent on impressing if given the chance.
Could the 28-year-old become a fixture for West Ham in the next years?
Contributions and Premier League safety will need to come first, but the ex-Palermo man is undoubtedly keen to prove himself and could be angling for a long-term London stay come summer if all goes according to plan.
image: © goatling