By Christian Smith
West Ham have signed Oladapo Afolayan, 21, from Solihull Moors for an undisclosed fee.
The British-Nigerian Striker joins the Hammers on a three-and-a-half-year contract.
Afolayan said: “It’s a dream come true. I’ve worked hard to get here and I’m grateful for the opportunity.
“I started out with Chelsea and was there until I was 15, then my family moved to Canada and I was part of the Academy at Toronto FC. Then, when we moved back, I studied civil engineering at Loughborough University before the opportunity arose to join Solihull and play in the National League and it was something I couldn’t turn down.
“Now, the opportunity has come to join a Premier League club and West Ham is one which has always given youngsters opportunities to come through, as we have seen this season, so I’ve come here to get into the first team and make a name for myself.”
The 21-year-old was signed hours after Tony Henry, the Hammers Director of Player Recruitment was reported to have said the club would not sign any more African players.
In a statement, the club said: “the West Ham United family is an inclusive one where, regardless of gender, age, ability, race, religion or sexual orientation, everybody feels welcome and included.”
“Tony Henry has been suspended pending a full and thorough investigation. West Ham United will not tolerate any type of discrimination and has, therefore, acted swiftly due to the serious nature of these claims.”