By Jason Jones

29th Apr, 2020 | 6:40pm

Confirmed: West Ham snap up versatile teenage starlet

West Ham have signed Northern Irish teenager Michael Forbes, according to the Ulster Herald

It is understood that the youngster put pen to paper on a pre-contract agreement with the Hammers last week, and has officially joined the club after celebrating his 16th birthday on Wednesday.

The report claims that the Irons fended off competition from a number of other sides to land the versatile starlet from Dungannon Swifts.

Forbes can play in midfield or defence, and underwent three trials with the Hammers before signing a contract.

The deal was confirmed by the player’s current boss, Dixie Robinson, on Wednesday.

Is this a good deal for the Hammers?

Obviously, it is difficult to pass too much judgement on a 16-year-old who has been plying his trade in Northern Ireland, but there are certainly things to be optimistic about.

For one thing, his versatility is a plus, as is the fact that the Hammers had to go toe-to-toe with a number of sides to snap him up.

Current boss Dixie Robinson clearly thinks highly of him too.

Speaking to the Ulster Herald, he said: “Physically and athletically Michael has a lot going for him, and he is technically very good as well.”

Of course, for a player of his age, a lot can derail his fledgling career, but it would appear that the Irons have done their homework thoroughly, and if he can live up to his obvious potential, this could prove to be a very smart piece of business.

In other West Ham news, Report – Hammers insider reacts to Declan Rice exit claim.