Jonathan Calleri: Carlos Tevez told me to stay at West Ham
By Nick Lustig
Last Updated: 03/02/17 9:08am
Jonathan Calleri has revealed a phone call from West Ham cult hero Carlos Tevez convinced him to remain with the club.
Argentine forward Calleri has endured a difficult spell at West Ham since joining on a season-long loan from Deportivo Maldonado last summer, finding the net only once in 10 appearances.
Tevez also struggled to adapt during his first few months in England during the 2006-07 campaign, taking 20 games to open his Hammers account before going on to score a further six goals to help the club avoid relegation.
Calleri, who turned down the chance to join La Liga side Las Palmas in January, has vowed to follow in the footsteps of his compatriot by making his spell at West Ham a success.
"I did speak to him a few months ago. When he arrived at West Ham, he was in a similar situation that I found myself in," the 23-year-old, who scored in the 3-1 success at Middlesbrough in January, told Sky Sports News HQ.
"It was hard for him and it was also hard for me. I am staying here, I want to battle, I have taken his advice on board and I want to be successful and follow in his footsteps."
Calleri also insisted West Ham can cope without Dimitri Payet, who completed a £25m return to Marseille in January.
Prior to his departure, Payet had been training with the U23s after informing manager Slaven Bilic that he would no longer play for the club.
"Yes, it's true that a great player in Dimitri Payet has left the club, but there is no player more important than the whole squad and having a united dressing room and a united team," Calleri said.
"So, if we are all united and pulling in the same direction, we won't miss Dimitri Payet."
West Ham travel to face Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday, with just one point and one place separating the two sides in mid-table.