NIGERIA’S U17 goalkeeper Daniel Jinadu has signed his first professional contract with English Premier league side West Ham alongside fellow compatriot Joshua Okotcha at a recent ceremony in which the club promoted several youngsters to its first team.
Jinadu, 17, manned goal for Nigeria during the 2019 U17 World Cup, playing in all three group games for the Golden Eaglets. Highly rated, he has been touted as a future Super Eagles goalkeeper and is highly rated by both West Ham and the Golden Eaglets’ coaching crew.
Yesterday, West Ham offered professional contracts to a total of its academy youngsters who have now been promoted from the youth side to the main team. Okotcha who is a defender is eligible to represent both England or Nigeria but has not yet made up his mind on where he wants to play his international football.
Okotcha, Other youngsters who signed their contracts include Harrison Ashby, Sam Caiger, Dan Chesters, Keenan Appiah-Forson and Will Greenidge. These players are now expected to move into the U23s squad in the coming days and continue their development.
West Ham’s U18 lead coach Kelvin Kleen, said: “Joshua Okotcha was the U18s captain last year and he’s someone who is always extremely conscientious of working on his game and getting better. He’s a good, big, strong central defender and I look forward to seeing how far he can progress in the future.
“Daniel Jinadu has spent a lot of time training with the U23s this season. He came in and played five U18s games in goal, including saving a penalty against Aston Villa in December. He’s a very consistent, hard-working and intelligent goalkeeper.”