By Joe Ellis

1st Jul, 2022 | 10:02am

West Ham United to announce Patrick Kelly signing in coming days

West Ham United will announce the signing of Coleraine teenager Patrick Kelly in the next few days, according to The West Ham Way.

The 17-year-old had attracted interest from the Irons’ Premier League rivals, and opening day opponents, Manchester City [ExWHUEmployee] but he appears to have chosen the Hammers over the reigning champions.

Kelly, who can play in central midfield as well as on the wing, made 17 appearances for Coleraine during last season’s NIFL Premiership season despite his tender age.

He will sign a three-year deal at the London Stadium and join up with the West Ham academy initially where he will find fellow Northern Irishman Callum Marshall who has enjoyed a good start to his life at Rush Green.

Kelly would theoretically become the third summer arrival at the London Stadium after the £30million signing of Nayef Aguerd and the permanent coup of goalkeeper Alphonse Areola.

For the future

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It could be a good two or three years at least before we see Kelly named in a senior squad for the Irons if he even makes it to that stage at all but this isn’t about the here and now.

Every transfer window involves a fine balance between bringing in players to play immediately and trying to poach the next best thing before anybody else can get their noses in.

Consistently over the past several seasons, our academy teams have been right near the sharp end in the Premier League 2 and the Under-18s Premier League and that is largely down to our superb coaching.

But we also pick and choose which youngsters to bring in extremely well which has been proven by Declan Rice most recently having owned the midfield for the last three years.

It’s too early to say if Kelly will be similar to the England international but if he becomes half as good as Rice is, we’ll have quite the player on our hands.