Done deal: Right-back signs after West Ham agree terms
By Harry Sykes
West Ham defender Alex Pike has joined Cheltenham on loan for the rest of the season, it was announced on Thursday afternoon.
The teenager has become the latest Hammers youngster to depart the club for a temporary period to gain first-team experience.
West Ham revealed on their official Twitter account and website that right-back Pike has agreed terms with League Two outfit Cheltenham.
— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) January 12, 2017
The 19-year-old has made an impression on the West Ham first team since emerging from the club’s prolific academy.
He was handed his senior debut in a Europa League qualifier in August and has also twice been named in the matchday squad for Premier League games, against Liverpool and Swansea City in December.
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But Pike has principally caught they eye as a mainstay of the Under-23s and is the only West Ham player to appear in every Premier League 2, Checkatrade Trophy and Premier League Cup fixture.
He has also earned praised from Academy chief Terry Westley for his versatility, with the teenager playing in every position across the back four this season.
West Ham fans might be surprised that the club have decided to loan out a right-back given that it has been something of a problem position in the last two seasons, but Sam Byram is closing in on a return after three months out injured.
Cheltenham achieved promotion from the National League last season but are currently in the relegation zone in League Two and a point from safety.
In other West Ham transfer news, the club have been installed odds-on favourites to sign a Premier League midfield goal machine this month.