West Ham have announced the signing of England U19 international, Nathan Holland from Everton. The midfielder has immediately been included in West Ham’s Under-23 squad to face Leicester on Monday.
After recently securing the talents of José Fonte, the club has again dipped into the transfer window to strengthen the squad; this time with an eye on the future. With midfield arguably the team’s strongest position, it makes sense to look at players with potential like Holland.
In remarks made to the official West Ham website, Holland has expressed enthusiasm to get started:
“It’s amazing, I’m quite gobsmacked to be honest. When I first came down, Terry [Westley, Academy Director] introduced me to all the staff and they were all very welcoming. They’ve shown a lot of faith in me and I just want to repay that and kick on."
He has also taken inspiration from another West Ham legend that graced the famed youth academy:
“You’ve had the likes of Joe Cole, he was a legend, and I think the attacking football that the Academy play is outstanding and hopefully that will fit my style.”
Born in Manchester, Holland joined the Everton ranks at the age of nine before progressing through all age groups with the Toffees. He signed his first professional contract with the club last year, but did not manage to appear for the first team while there.
The youngster did feature for the national team at the Under 17 European Championships in 2015. Holland featured heavily in the first team before England did what they do best, and were knocked out at the quarter final stages. Most recently Holland made his debut for the England Under 19s last September.
Terry Westley has been a long-standing admirer of Holland’s ability:
“It’s taken awhile to get the player to us. He’s someone who I saw two years ago playing for England in the same team as Reece Oxford. I looked down at my programme and circled his name because of the talent that I saw.
He’s an England international through the ages and he’s got those late developer signs which we like. We know he’s going to mature and we are going to give him the platform, a long enough contract, to develop with us.
To come here now is a big challenge, but it’s one I know he is looking forward to.”
New signing Nathan Holland with academy coach Terry Westley and manager Slaven Bilic. pic.twitter.com/3ZA7BnkOhN— West Ham Central (@WestHam_Central) January 22, 2017
Holland is excited to join West Ham and is keen to get himself into the first team:
“I think [London Stadium] is the best stadium in the Premier League by far. If I could ever get myself out there, I think it would be a dream come true to be honest.”