By Harry Sykes
West Ham prised wing sensation Nathan Holland from Everton in January after settling the terms of the deal in talks with his mother.
The Hammers’ academy manager Terry Westley has revealed details on how the club pushed through the free transfer signing of Holland last month.
Wide forward Holland, 18, has already made an impact at West Ham, scoring three goals in his last three matches for the club’s Under-23s team.
Club owner David Gold even took to Twitter this week to hail the January signing and express his delight at the youngster’s performances.
18year old Nathan Holland only joined West Ham under 21s last month but has already scored three goals in his last three matches. dg pic.twitter.com/5u081jWSml
— David Gold (@davidgold) February 21, 2017
Westley compared Holland, who plays predominantly on the left wing, to Ryan Giggs and Steve McManaman following his virtuoso display in the Under-23s 2-0 win over Fulham on Monday, highlighting his ability at driving forward with the ball at pace.
The teenager was captured by West Ham even though he signed his first professional contract with Everton in January of last year, having been at the club since he was nine.
However, his progress stalled and he had not even featured for the Merseyside club’s Under-23s in any of their Premier League 2 games this season.
“Players can sometimes lose their way, get disillusioned,” said Westley to the Evening Standard. “They go and ask if they can move.
“There were a host of clubs after him and Dave worked very hard to get him down to meet me. We sat down with his mother and set out the plan.
“We told him that we would give him a long term contract because ‘we know you have lots more to come.’ We also told him that he would have an individual development plan, the work you need – and the time you need – to become the player we think you will be.
“I have to say it was not silly money at all, compared to what some other youngsters might be earning and there was no transfer fee involved.
“The deal is the rest of this season and three more which really gives him a platform to do his gym work, to develop physically, to start to understand the game tactically, to move inside the pitch rather than being an up-and-down winger.
“The big thing was that, when I looked him in the eyes I saw that hunger he has to become a player. We will only win if he goes on to be the player we believe he will be.
“There are no guarantees – but at least we’ve got him.”
In other West Ham transfer news, a forward has signed after the club agreed terms on an out-of-window deal.