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Friday, 14 September, 2001, 17:55 GMT 18:55 UK
Repka set for Hammers debut
Tomas Repka
Repka is the latest arrival at Upton Park
Czech Republic international Tomas Repka has finally completed a 5.5m move to West Ham and is set to make his debut against Middlesbrough on Saturday.

The 27-year-old, with 44 international caps, initially resisted a move to the Premiership, but he has been impressed by his prospective new club.

He has travelled with the team to the north-east and is in line to play at the Riverside Stadium.

We are delighted Tomas is finally with us and we will do everything we can to help him settle quickly in England
Paul Aldridge
West Ham MD

Huge debts have forced Fiorentina to part with their best players, with Francesco Toldo and Manuel Rui Costa sold to Inter and AC Milan for a combined 40m.

West Ham managing director Paul Aldridge told West Ham's official website: "We are delighted Tomas is finally with us.

"We will do everything we can to help him settle quickly in England," Aldridge told West Ham's official website.

Paul Goddard, Hammers' assistant manager, said: "We are pleased it is all done and dusted and this will give everyone a boost.

"Tomas is being thrown in at the deep end somewhat, but he is very experienced.

"It is a real tough test and Tomas is not the biggest of centre halves - but he has come across plenty of them (big strikers) in Italy before and dealt with them."

Repka is the third new arrival under manager Glenn Roeder and the deal represents a new club record, following the arrival of David James and Don Hutchison.

The defender initially appeared reluctant to uproot his family and move from Florence.

But he has been swayed by West Ham's goalkeeping coach Ludek Miklosko, a fellow Czech who has acted as interpreter.

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