New West Ham United boss Manuel Pellegrini has branded Mark Noble "so important" amid suggestions that the midfielder could struggle for regular action next term.
The Hammers have signed seven new players in this summer's transfer window, with Felipe Anderson, Issa Diop, Andriy Yarmolenko, Lukasz Fabianski, Fabian Balbuena, Ryan Fredericks and Jack Wilshere all arriving at the London Stadium.
Noble appeared in 29 Premier League games for the Hammers last term, and has turned out for the London club on more than 400 occasions since debuting in 2004.
Despite changing the squad around this summer, Pellegrini has insisted that Noble is an important figure entering the new Premier League campaign.
"That is why he is so important. He has so many years here and he is the captain. He is a very good player and also a very good leader. He will give everything to try to grow with this new project," Pellegrini told reporters.
West Ham will continue their preparations for the 2018-19 campaign with a pre-season friendly against Ipswich Town on Saturday afternoon.