Sam Allardyce
Allardyce was recommended to sign Whitehead from Didi Hamman.

West Ham United have confirmed their fourth signing of the summer in the form of Stockport County attacking midfielder Danny Whitehead on a two-year deal.

The 19 year old has made 59 appearances for County in the Blue Square Bet Premier and joins for an undisclosed fee with an option for a third year following an encouraging trial period at the end of the 2012/13 season.

Whitehead made his Stockport debut at just 17 years of age against Fleetwood Town in September 2011 having joined The Hatters at the age of 14 and is the latest player off the club's production line that has brought through the likes of England international John Ruddy and Wales captain Ashley Williams.

"I'm very excited to have joined West Ham and I can't wait to get out there and play," said Whitehead. "It's obviously a big step up, but I've got to take the opportunity and grasp it.

"I was on trial here at the end of last season and all the lads helped me fit in well during the two weeks of training I did.

"I've got a bit of experience from playing for the first team at Stockport- I'll probably be with the Under-21s here at the start, and then I'll be trying to push towards the first team."

The teenager becomes The Hammers' fourth summer addition after the signing of Razvan Rat and Spanish goalkeeper Adrian, while a permanent deal for Andy Carroll was clinched on Wednesday following last season's loan spell.

Manager Sam Allardyce will be seeking to improve on West Ham's 10<sup>th place finish last season, with the swath of early summer signings pointing towards an assault on qualification for Europe.

The West Ham boss was recommended to sign Whitehead following advice from ex-Stockport manager Didi Hamman.

"He was recommend by Didi Hamann - who managed Stockport - as he felt he was an emerging talent that needed nurturing," Allardyce revealed.

"I asked their current manager Ian Bogie about his talents and he allowed us to take a look at him last season and like every young player he's got talent.

"He's very capable of handling the ball and he's able to create with his passing. He's very slight, which we'll work on, but the question is can we create that potential into a Premier League player?

"It is something we'll find out over the coming years through our Academy system and we'll see if he can join the long list of players that have come through."