By Joe Ellis

5th Aug, 2022 | 7:10am

West Ham United set to sign highly-rated teenager Josh Briggs from Linfield

West Ham United are in line to sign Linfield’s highly-rated teenage defender Josh Briggs this summer, according to Belfast Live.

The Northern Ireland Under-17s international, where he is currently on duty in the Zlaty Kahan Cup, is due to join up with the Irons’ Under-18s side for the 2022-23 campaign.

In fact, he has already played in the famous claret and blue as he was a part of the West Ham youth side that won in the Next Gen Cup thanks to victories over Crystal Palace and Tottenham Hotspur over the summer.

Briggs joins a cohort of young Northern Irish talent with Callum Marshall already established at Rush Green and Patrick Kelly also signing this summer from Coleraine.

Linfield’s official club website describes the 16-year-old as “A footballing centre-half with tons of class and composure,” and also states that an impending move to West Ham is going to happen.

Connections

The cross-channel move from Northern Ireland to the London Stadium shouldn’t be a big challenge for Briggs with Marshall and Kelly both there to make life easier for him.

He and His countryman are just the start of what could prove to be a very fruitful connection between the Hammers and the entire footballing culture of Northern Ireland.

It is a nation that is often untouched in footballing terms having made little impact on the international stage but there will be hidden gems waiting to get their big chance in England.

West Ham United have put themselves in a position where they could be seen as the first and maybe only option for teenagers across the Irish Sea looking to further their career.

And when that one wonderkid does eventually appear, if he hasn’t already, then the Irons will be right at the front of the queue and Marshall, Kelly and Briggs should be able to convince whoever that may be.