By Matt Farr
West Ham youngster Domingos Quina has admitted he was blown away after being handed a role in the first team squad this season.
Quina, 17, turned his back on the Chelsea academy to sign a professional contact at West Ham at the start of the season, but is already loving life in east London under Slaven Bilic.
He had immediately been promised an important role in the first team setup by Bilic, with the West Ham boss making good on his promise by handing him a debut in the Europa League in July.
The Portugal U18 international has since been named in the matchday squad on 13 occasions for the senior side, although he has made just three appearances in total.
Nevertheless, Quina admitted to the Sun that he was delighted to have been given the opportunity to feature regular in the first team squad, and is determined to make a bigger impact for the club.
He said: “My agent Aidy Ward called me two weeks before pre-season and told me I might have the chance of going to the US with West Ham’s first team.
“I was like wow! There were some questions about whether I was ready, but I knew I was. From then on I have been in the first team squad and first team changing room, and I’m really enjoying it.
“It’s a massive jump from Chelsea’s youth team to West Ham’s first-team. The players are quicker and stronger, but I’ve got used to that now and it feels a lot more familiar.
“I want to get into the first team as quickly as possible and get the experience of playing in the Premier League. I want to break into the first team and stay there.”
Quina is already rated very highly by the West Ham backroom team, with the youngster revealing that the coaches believe him to be a Luke Modric style of player.
The fans, however, have had to wait more patiently to see the teenager unleash his talents on the big stage, having only heard of his efforts for the Under 23 side.
From his 13 appearances for the reserve side, he has scored one goal and contributed one assist.
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