Yacob thanks club and fans for warm welcome in his first interview
CLAUDIO Yacob says The Hawthorns has felt like home...from the moment he experienced his first ‘boing boing’!
In his first interview since joining Albion on a Bosman in July, the Argentina international has thanked the club and supporters for making him feel so welcome in his new country.
The former Racing Club de Avellaneda midfielder arrived in the Black Country in relatively low key fashion – which is in stark contrast to the stir he has caused with his first three appearances for the Baggies.
His performances as a holding midfielder have earned him rave reviews among the plaudits and made him an instant hit with the fans.
Yacob, who is currently learning English, has helped Steve Clarke’s side bag seven points from their opening three games and he has witnessed the supporters celebrate six Barclays Premier League goals in their own unique style.
He claims his impressive performances are a direct result of how quickly he has settled at Albion.
“What’s really helped me is feeling so comfortable and so at home within the club from the moment I arrived,” said Yacob.
“Everyone at the club has helped me to feel very welcome.
“Obviously, without being able to speak the language, that has been a very important factor in helping me deal with the demands of the Premier League.
“But you don’t need to be able to speak English to understand the ‘boing boing’ and I hope there will be lots of ‘boing boinging’ going on this season!
“Even without understanding the language, I have felt warmth from the supporters and the staff and, at the moment, I don’t need the words to feel that I’ve been made very welcome.
“It’s fantastic and I feel I have settled in really well.
“The life I have here is excellent and I’m very content with that.
“The challenge is to establish myself as a Premier League player by playing for West Brom and that’s what I plan to do.
“Everything else is absolutely fine.”
Albion are only Yacob’s second club, having previously progressed through the ranks at Argentine Primera Division outfit Racing.
The 25-year-old says he has always dreamed of playing in the Premier League and is determined to keep up his early-season form.
“When I was in Argentina, I was always saw it as a challenge to play in the Premier League,” added Yacob.
“It was something that I really wanted to do.
“It hasn’t let me down in terms of the intensity of the games.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the first three games and I think it’s important that, as a team, we’ve remained unbeaten.
“I’m happy with my performance and I’m looking forward to the future games.”
Yacob hasn’t looked back since catching the eye on his debut against Liverpool and he is hoping the ‘no fear’ attitude the team displayed in the season-opener will become an integral part of their season.
“It was a great challenge to play against Liverpool in my first game – especially as I hadn’t played for three or four months in Argentina,” he said.
“I realised that playing against Liverpool was a very difficult challenge in my first game.
“But I prepared well both in terms of my mental and physical preparation in the days and weeks leading up to the game and I was very pleased the result was a positive one.
“I was fully aware of the history, prestige and reputation of Liverpool.
“But we also need to take into account that West Brom have a very good history.
"We shouldn’t be afraid of playing teams like Liverpool.
“As the season goes on, we should confront the challenge of playing against teams that have good history and remember that we also have a place in the Premier League.”
However, not everything has run smoothly for the midfield dynamo, who was without his much-loved pet dog Lunar during his first few weeks in England due to the quarantine process.
“Lunar is here now and there are no more problems with that,” said Yacob.
“The dog seems even happier than I am!
“In Argentina, he had to stay in the apartment, but here we have a house with a garden and he has been ‘boing boinging’ a lot!”
To underline the affection Yacob has for his new club, he quipped: “I will also be getting a West Brom shirt for my girlfriend!”
• The club would like to thank Jeremy Madeley, of Language Partners, for translating this interview. For further information about Language Partners, visit: www.languagepartners.co.uk