By Will Butcher

David Gold has heaped praise on West Ham’s January signings Robert Snodgrass and Jose Fonte ahead of Monday night’s clash against Chelsea.

The duo have instantly become crucial members of Slaven Bilic’s Hammers side, both being among the first names on the Croatian’s team sheet and are expected to play against Chelsea.

Speaking to the Hammers’ official website, co-owner Gold revealed that both Fonte and Snodgrass have had an effect on and off the pitch in east London.

“I must say, the two new boys, Fonte and Snodgrass, have certainly played their part in aiding the camaraderie and spirit, which is so important,” Gold revealed.

“They are two very experienced professionals with fantastic character, and have made a very positive impression, both on the pitch and in the dressing-room.”

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Signed from Hull City as a replacement for Dimitri Payet, Snodgrass has starred in claret and blue since his move as he offers versatility and quality from set pieces in the final third.

The former Leeds ace moved to east London after already scoring nine times this season for Hull, while defender Fonte was signed after Angelo Ogbonna suffered a season-ending injury.

The £8million signing is expected to partner Winston Reid against London rivals Chelsea, as the Hammers look to defy the pre-match odds by securing victory against the league leaders.

A win at the London Stadium would see West Ham climb to ninth in the league table, leapfrogging Stoke and Southampton but will face a tough test against Antonio Conte’s side.

In other West Ham news, the Hammers are set to rival Everton for this Serie A midfielder.

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