West Ham new signing Álvaro Arbeloa is still in that farewell stage. After seven years at Real Madrid, where he also played in his teenage years, his departure is something very commented on in Spain.

The fullback had granted an interview to Cadena Cope on Monday and talked a little about his transfer to the Premier League. He confirmed he talked to his former manager José Mourinho before accepting the move and took the time to praise English football.

“The Premier level is very tight in recent years. I had advanced talks with Milan, but the West Ham offer showed up. I had several offers from Spain, but I could only wear the Real Madrid shirt there.”

When asked if he was signed to play as a fullback or in central defence, his answer was quick: “Fullback.”

Arbeloa was happy to admit it’s hard to leave a club of the size of Real Madrid, but made sure he added that his home isn’t bad either: “When you leave Real Madrid it’s complicated to go out and choose, it takes a lot, it’s like leaving heaven and choosing a destination on earth.

“It’s different, many things change, at Madrid you have all the facilities in the world and Valdebebas is something unique. You come here and it’s different, but I’m happy because it’s where I wanted to be.”