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Raphael Spiegel Joins Boavista

Youth Team Goalkeeper leaves for Portugal

Hull City U21 v West Ham United U21 - Premier League U21 Cup Final: Second Leg Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

On June 22, West Ham youth team keeper, Raphael Spiegel announced on twitter that he would be joining Portuguese side Boavista.

In 2009, Spiegel broke into the scene with his inclusion in the 2009 Youth World Cup winning Swiss U-17 squad. His teammates included Haris Seferovic, Ricardo Rodriguez and Granit Xhaka. Spiegel was an unused substitute in the tournament, but he made his breakthrough with the U-17 team later in that year. A regular in Swiss youth set ups, Spiegel became a fixture with his club's youth side, Grasshopper 2.

In 2011, Spiegel became recognized as one of the better young players in Swiss football. His performances earned him a loan to Bruhl, where he played 17 games.

Spiegel joined West Ham from Grasshopper in 2012, having impressed on loan, and in his games for the Swiss U-19 side. Upon joining West Ham, Spiegel won the starting spot for West Ham’s development side.

In 2014, Spiegel joined Crawley Town. He never played, and returned to West Ham in August. He then joined Barnet, but the loan was cut short by injury, and he returned with only one appearance. In 2015, Spiegel was loaned to Carlisle United. He played two games in the league, and a further two in the EFL cup.

West Ham United U21 v PSV Eindhoven U21 - Barclays U21 Premier League International Cup Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

Spiegel will join Boavista for an undisclosed fee. The Portuguese team finished ninth in the Primeira Liga last season. He will likely replace goalkeeper Vagnar, how started most games last season.

Spiegel released a heartfelt goodbye on his twitter, thanking the club and the goalkeepers he had trained alongside.

“To all hammers I’m so grateful for my time at the club. It was a dream come true signing as a 19 year old and moving to London from Switzerland. I arrived as a kid and now I leave as a man. West ham groomed me into both a better player and individual. I want to thank everyone at the Club that was there to help me improve. A special thanks to all the goalkeeper coaches I had the privilege of working with. I learned so much from each of them and will always carry those lessons with me.

“Also, a shout out to Adrian, Darren, Hendo, and Jussi who I trained and learned from daily. Lucky to have worked with them!!

“Winning the U-21 cup in 2016, and winning promotion with the U-23 team this passed [sic] 2017 season were both great highlights I’m proud to be apart of and have shared with my West Ham teammates.

“Last but not least, of course a huge thanks to the best fans in the Premier League!! It was an honour to be apart of such a historical club with such loyal fans. I will never forget hearing my name sung from the crowd during the cup final in 2016. Wishing the irons many great seasons to come at the new stadium!! COME ON YOU IRONS!”