West Ham sign Stockport County starlet
West Ham transfer news: Sam Allardyce captures non-league star Danny Whitehead
Sam Allardyce has completed West Ham United’s fourth transfer of the summer with the capture of Stockport County youngster Danny Whitehead for a nominal fee.
Attacking midfielder Whitehead had been on trial with the Hammers following a glowing reference from former Stockport manager Dietmar Hamann.
"He was recommended by Didi Hamann - who managed Stockport – as he felt he was a talent that needed nurturing,” Allardyce told WHUFC.com.
"He's very capable of handling the ball and he's able to create with his passing.
"Danny is very slight, which we'll work on, but the question is can we create that potential into a Premier League player?”
Whitehead is an attacking midfielder who prefers to operate in the hole behind the central striker, although he can also operate off the right flank.
Small in stature, he relies on quick feet and a low centre of gravity to evade opponents and likes to link with short passes and quick movement.
Predominantly right-sided the 19-year-old contributed six assists and five goals in 42 appearances for County including a screamer against Cheshire rivals Macclesfield Town.
Speaking to the club's official website, Whitehead states he's determined to make the most of his chance.
"I'm very excited to have joined West Ham and I can't wait to get out there and play," he said.
"It's obviously a big step up, but I've got to take the 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."
While a stint in the Under-21s or a loan move looks most likely for Whitehead in the short term.
It’s a tremendous show of confidence in his ability and he will be looking to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Ian Wright and Chris Smalling who have made the jump from non-league to top-flight football.
A move from Blue Square North is a shock to say the least maybe a bigger surprise is the fact Allardyce is on speaking terms with Hamann after the Kaiser opted to join Manchester City in 2004 despite having already agreed a deal with Bolton Wanderers who at the time were managed by big Sam.
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