New signing Papa Bouba Diop can’t wait for his Fulham debut – and revealed he is ready to embrace a lifelong dream of playing in the Premier League.

Fulham moved quickly to pinch the Senegalese midfielder, who became a legend in his homeland after famously scoring the winner against France in the 2002 World Cup, from under the noses of Portsmouth this summer and Diop has settled in well at Craven Cottage despite still struggling to speak English.

He told Fulham’s official website:

“For a while players like El-Hadji Diouf, Amdy Faye and Henri Camara were telling me that I should come to England and that I would enjoy the Premiership. But I wasn’t in a position to do anything about it at the time because I still had a contract with Lens and they didn’t want to let me go. From what they were saying, I wanted to experience it. I could see straight away that the Premiership is harder than the French league – here you play at one hundred miles an hour whereas in France it’s only fifty miles an hour.”

I’ve been impressed with the spirit within the group – they have made it easy for me to integrate into the squad – even the non-French speaking players. There are some good players here and we have a good chance next season.

I haven’t been in London for too long and I’m staying in a hotel at the moment. I don’t really like the hustle and bustle but on the other hand I like the fact that there’s so much to do and see in London. I was happy to find there were people at the Club who spoke French and could help me settle in. Alain Goma and Sylvain Legwinski have taken me out and shown me around – I’ve really appreciated that and it’s made it easier for me to adjust. I’m starting my English lessons soon and I’m hoping to pick up the language quite quickly.