Jamal Baptiste has put pen to paper on his first professional terms with West Ham United, as confirmed by the club themselves on Thursday morning – prompting reaction from Anton Ferdinand, Paul Konchesky and others.
Baptiste only turned 17 on Wednesday but the Hammers have decided to secure his future immediately, with professional contracts allowed to be offered to players of 17 or over. Baptiste is certainly highly-rated.
The defender already boasts six caps with England’s Under-16 side and has been called up to the Under-17 set-up. Not only that, but he is already a regular in the club’s Under-23 side – way ahead of schedule.
Baptiste has clocked up 16 appearances for the Hammers second string, hence the hype surrounding his name. West Ham confirmed on their website that Baptiste has signed a professional contract until the summer of 2023.
Congratulations on signing your first professional contract, @JamalBaptiste_! 👊⚒
— West Ham United (@WestHam) November 12, 2020
Baptiste’s aims will now be cementing his place in the reserve team and looking to get the odd snippet of regular football over the course of the coming season under David Moyes. It is good business from the Hammers.
Former Hammers stars Anton Ferdinand, Paul Konchesky and Zavon Hines all reacted to the news on West Ham’s Instagram post – as did current West Ham defender Angelo Ogbonna, who commented some emojis.