London: West Ham United have signed Canadian defender Doneil Henry from Apollon Limassol of Cyprus, the English Premier League club announced on Saturday.
Henry, 21, arrives for an undisclosed fee on what West Ham have described as "a long-term contract".
"It feels good to be given the opportunity to come and train and see what it`s like to be part of a Premier League team and I just want to get started and get into the team real soon," central defender Henry, who has won 14 caps for Canada, told West Ham`s official website.
Henry started his career at Toronto FC and spent time training with West Ham in 2013 before being signed by Apollon Limassol and loaned back to Toronto.
He was recommended to West Ham manager Sam Allardyce by Toronto head coach Ryan Nelsen, the former Blackburn Rovers defender and New Zealand captain.
"I had a really good relationship with Ryan Nelsen and I always wanted to see what it was like to play at another level, the highest level, and I got the opportunity to come over here," Henry added.
"Since then, I was just hoping to come back and now it`s happened, I want it to continue on and keep playing."
West Ham said that Henry will go straight into their first-team squad and Allardyce is confident he can soon make an impact.
"Ryan was my captain at Blackburn for a couple of years and he rang us and told us about Doneil," he said.
"He said this lad definitely has Premier League potential and he has everything he needs."