The price was right – West Ham boss Sam Allardyce reflects on the signing of Aaron Cresswell from Ipswich Town

Aaron Cresswell needs to be rescued from an overzealous Town fan after Ipswich equalised at Watford

Aaron Cresswell needs to be rescued from an overzealous Town fan after Ipswich equalised at Watford last season. PHOTO: PAGEPIX LTD

West Ham United boss Sam Allardyce says the price was right when it came to signing Aaron Cresswell from Ipswich Town.

Cresswell returns to Portman Road tomorrow night for a pre-season friendly (7.45pm), having signed a five-year deal with the Hammers recently. The clubs agreed a guaranteed £3.75 million fee (which will be drip fed over the coming months), with the value of the deal potentially rising to as much as £7 million if various appearances clauses are met.

“Aaron is a very interesting case because, as far as we looked at other targets, when I looked at his career history, spoke to Mick McCarthy and looked at what he has done in the last couple of years, he was right on the doorstep,” Allardyce told West Ham’s official website.

“He started at 17 at Tranmere Rovers and played 70 games and Paul Jewell took him to Ipswich when he became manager there. He has played nearly every game over the last three seasons, so he never misses any games through injury.

“He is 24-years-old and there has been a very good, steady development over those years. He has over 200 games in the bag and, after moving from League One to the Championship.

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“He was in the PFA Team of the Year last season, so all of the players he played against saw him as the best left-back in the Championship.

“Of course, the price was right, which was the biggest factor in our transfer dealings this season – if the player is right and the price is right, we do the deal.

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“The biggest stumbling block is the size of the fees that are being asked for today. This one was a very, very good signing indeed, not just for right now but also for the future.”

Cresswell said: “It’s great to have the chance to come back to Ipswich and properly say my goodbyes to the players, the staff and the supporters.

“It was difficult to leave the club as I’d built up a great relationship with everyone there but like any player I want to play in the Premier League and joining a fantastic club like West Ham is a great opportunity for me.”

Meanwhile, former Town striker Connor Wickham has turned down a lucrative new contract with Sunderland.

Wickham, who shone during the Black Cats’ remarkable escape from Premier League relegation last season, has a year left on his current deal.

Sunderland may now decide to sell the England Under-21 international to avoid him moving on for a much lower fee in January or compensation next summer. Leicester, Southampton and Crystal Palace have been linked.

The 21-year-old moved to the Stadium of Light from Ipswich for an initial £8.1 million in the summer of 2011. The deal included a sell-on clause which would see the Blues receive an undisclosed percentage of any profit Sunderland might make if he is sold.

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