West Ham have announced that their on-loan defender Craig Dawson will join the club on a permanent deal from Watford at the end of the season.
The 30-year-old moved to the Hammers on loan in October and has scored three goals in 15 Premier League appearances this term. He will remain at London Stadium until the summer of 2023.
“Coming to West Ham has been a great move for myself, and it is a privilege to play for a club with such rooted traditions,” Dawson told West Ham’s website.
“The squad has a real togetherness, team spirit and great quality. I’m excited for what my future at the club may hold. Plus the potential for what we as a club can go on to achieve.”
West Ham are in contention for Champions League qualification and sit fourth in the table following victory at Wolves.
Dawson, who played for Rochdale, West Brom and Bolton earlier in his career, had to wait until late December for his Hammers debut but has since been ever-present in the top flight.
Manager David Moyes said: “Craig’s performances, attitude and the impact he’s had demonstrate why he deserves a permanent deal.
“He had to be patient but he’s come in and grabbed his opportunity with both hands. We are always looking to improve the squad and Craig joining us permanently certainly does that.”
Neville casts doubt over Lingard future
Gary Neville has cast serious doubts over the chances of Jesse Lingard carving out a future for himself at Manchester United, despite his impressive form on loan at West Ham.
Lingard joined the Hammers on loan in January and has recapturted his best form in some style. He scored an incredible solo goal to put West Ham in early control at Wolves. Further goals from Pablo Fornals and Jarrod Bowen put West Ham 3-0 up – but it was a nervy finish as Wolves fought back.
David Moyes was clearly a very relieved man at full-time as the Hammers clung on to go fourth.
The catalyst for the win was once again Lingard. He now has six goals and three assists from eight appearances for West Ham.
His form has seen talk arise that he could engineer a route back into the Manchester United first team. To that end, Lingard himself is reported to have informed United of two demands if he’s to return.
However, Neville reckons Lingard has little chance of playing regular football at Old Trafford. Indeed, he says he needs to join the Hammers permanently if he’s to continue enjoying his football.
Lingard still good enough
After the win at Wolves, Neville was asked if he would have Lingard back.
“It depends on what grounds,” Neville told Sky Sports. “If Jesse wants to play, which he does want to play, you can see, then he’s going to need to leave.
“Because he’s not going to play every single week I suspect in a Manchester United team that’s trying to get to second or first in the league.
“But if he’s willing to go back there and compete and be a player like that, he could. Daniel James has come in for the last few weeks and he’s out of the team again. Does he want to be that type of player who’s a bit in and out?
“There’s no doubt he can play for Manchester United but he’d have to be in that role.”