Official: Chelsea wonderkid signs for West Ham, promises to emulate former Blues academy product Declan Rice

West Ham have confirmed the signing of 19-year-old French midfielder Pierre Ekwah Elimby from Chelsea for an undisclosed fee.

Ekwah signed for the Hammers on an initial three-year deal, with the option to extend for a further year.

The youngster had previously spent two weeks on trial in Claret and Blue, featuring in the U23s’ final two Premier League 2 Division 1 matches of the 2020/21 season – both against Arsenal – and scoring in the latter one.

A powerful defensive midfielder, also capable of dropping into the back line, Ekwah is pleased to be continuing his development within West Ham and the Academy of Football.

Speaking about the move, Ekwah told West Ham TV: “I feel really good signing for West Ham. I’m really happy in myself. I want to thank the Club for the opportunity they have given me. It’s a big achievement for me.

“I really think that West Ham is a Club where everyone is working all together. The U23s and the first team work really closely to each other, and I think that young players here have got a good chance of breaking into the first team, as they have done in the past.

“Loads of young players have reached the first team: Declan Rice has been captain, and he’s so young and playing so well. Mark Noble is an unbelievable player who’s been there and done the same. I just want to do similarly to them.

“When West Ham gave me the opportunity to come in for two weeks, I took it, saw how the Club worked, and I just enjoyed it. They gave me the opportunity to sign and I said ‘yeah, I’m taking this shirt away!'”