Monday 23 July 2012
West Ham United have confirmed the signing of Switzerland Under-20 international goalkeeper Raphael Spiegel from Grasshopper Club Zurich for an undisclosed fee.
The 19-year-old has agreed a three-year contract with the Barclays Premier League club, with an option for a further year.
Spiegel, who will arrive at Chadwell Heath this week, has represented Switzerland at U17, U18, U19 and U20 level and is regarded as one of his country's outstanding prospects.
He has already amassed a considerable degree of first-team experience at club level, appearing 17 times for SC Bruhl SG in the Swiss Challenge League - the country's second tier - last season.
In the previous two campaigns Spiegel played a combined 41 games for Grasshopper Club's second team in the Swiss third tier.
The 6ft 3in goalkeeper, who kept a clean sheet in his most recent international appearance – a 1-0 U20 friendly victory in Portugal in April 2012 – is expected to provide cover for fellow summer recruits Jussi Jaaskelainen and Stephen Henderson as manager Sam Allardyce prepares his squad for the Hammers' return to the League.