West Ham confirmed the capture of Stockport County youngster Danny Whitehead for an undisclosed fee.
The 19-year-old attacking midfielder has signed a two-year deal with an option for a third after successfully completing a trial at the end of last season.
A delighted Whitehead told whufc.com: “I’m very excited to have joined West Ham and I can’t wait to get out there and play.
“It’s obviously a great step up, but I’ve got to take my opportunity and grasp it. I was on trial here at the end of last season and all the lads helped me fit in well during the two weeks of training I did.
“I’ve got a bit of experience from playing for the first-team at Stockport – I’ll probably be with the Under-21s here at the start, and then I’ll be trying to push towards the first-team.”
Manager Sam Allardyce revealed that he was made aware of Whitehead’s talent by former Liverpool midfielder and Stockport manager Didi Hamann, and that the Manchester-born youngster could well be a talent worthy of Premier League football soon.
He said: “He was recommended by Didi Hamann as he felt he was an emerging talent that needed nurturing.
“I asked their current manager Ian Bogie about his talents and he allowed us to take a look at him last season and, like every young player, he’s got talent.
“He’s very capable of handling the ball and he’s able to create with his passing. Can we create that potential into a Premier League player? It’s something we’ll find out over the coming years through our Academy system and we’ll see if he can join the long list of players that have come through.”
Whitehead made 43 first-team appearances in the Blue Square Bet Premier for Stockport County. He will join up with the team for the start of pre-season training on 1 July.