West Ham goalkeeper Adrian admits he had never heard of new signing and fellow Spaniard Pedro Obiang

Sampdoria Fans

West Ham United goalkeeper Adrian has admitted he had never heard of the club's £4.4 million signing Pedro Obiang, despite being from the same country.

The Hammers snapped up the former Spain Under 21 midfielder from Serie A side Sampdoria earlier this month, just 24 hours after naming Slaven Bilic as their new manager.

Obiang had left Atletico Madrid as a youngster before joining Sampdoria's youth academy where he progressed to become a permanent fixture in the Italian club's first team.

However, the East Londoners' number one has told West Ham's official website his compatriot was unknown to him before he joined the Premier League side but that has not stopped them striking up an instant friendship on their return to pre-season training.

"I don't know him before," he told whufc.com.

"But I know he's a great guy now and today is the first time I have met him in person and he's a very funny guy and I think we have a lot of Latin players now as we have Enner (Valenica), Mauro (Zarate), Diego Poyet, Pedro and me."

Cult hero and true team player on and off the pitch

Adrian is something of a cult hero to Hammers fans for his goalkeeping skills and the passion he brings to the number one shirt at the Boleyn Ground.

He cemented his place in West Ham folklore last season when he threw his gloves to the floor before stepping up to score the winning penalty in an epic FA Cup replay against Everton.

But off the pitch he is proving a true team player too as he is helping players, including Obiang, to learn the language as his wife Tamara is an English teacher.

West Ham fans will be hoping that Obiang leaves a lasting impression on Adrian when the new season gets under way.

The Hammers start competitive football before any other Premier League side tomorrow night when they take on Andorran minnows FC Lusitans in the Europa League and the 23-year-old midfielder could feature.

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