Joel Veltman has revealed the heartbreaking reason for his choice of Albion shirt number.

But he cannot wait to get stuck into the Premier League, helped by a few words with compatriot Davy Propper.

Veltman has left Ajax after almost 20 years with the Amsterdam giants and signed a three-year deal with Albion.

It cost the Seagulls a little more than £900,000 to activate his release clause.

Veltman will wear the No.34 shirt as a tribute to former Ajax team-mate Abdelhak Nouri, who collapsed on the pitch during a friendly in 2017 and went into an induced coma.

He said: “Everyone knows what happened to Appie.

“He was a friend of everyone, we all love him and still do which is why when Ajax celebrates a goal they show the No.34.

“A lot of his old team-mates have this number and I know he would be very proud that I am going to the Premier League.”

Veltman said Propper had told him “good things about the club and the city.”

He added: “He said the dressing room atmosphere is very good which is important.

“It’s only a short break until pre-season starts for us and I am looking forward to meeting the guys and to training and playing with them.”