West Ham United are delighted to announce the signing of striker Frank Nouble from Chelsea for an undisclosed fee.
With several clubs keen on securing his services after he turned down a contract at Stamford Bridge this summer, Nouble said he had no hesitation in deciding to join the Hammers on a five-year deal. He passed a medical on Tuesday afternoon before putting pen to paper at the Boleyn Ground. He could make his debut when a West Ham XI take on Thurrock this Friday evening.
Speaking to whufc.com, he said: "It is a great day for me and my family. I am just excited now to get started at this club. I am really looking forward to showing what I can do. West Ham are renowned for bringing through young players and hopefully I can be in the next batch.
"This came out of the blue. The news came out that I rejected at Chelsea and obviously I thank them for what they have done for me but I am just happy that a club like West Ham came in for me. They showed their interest and for me it was a case of saying 'Yes' straight away. I am just happy to be here."
Nouble added that he had high hopes of impressing the manager and Steve Clarke, who he had worked with at Chelsea. "I am reaching the age where I want to be in and around the first team more than anything - learning from the big players that have done really well here. Mark Noble, Carlton Cole and players like that. I want to emulate what they have done.
"I am an attacking player. I am tall and rely on my pace and getting goals. I just want to do well up front and excite the fans."
A former England Under-17 international, the powerful and speedy forward was Chelsea's leading scorer in the FA Premier Academy League last season, netting 12 times in 20 appearances, including a hat-trick against Fulham.
Nouble, who had been with Chelsea since the age of eleven, also scored twice in ten Barclays Premier Reserve League games in 2008/09, while he added a stunning further strike in the FA Youth Cup victory against Manchester United at Old Trafford in November.
The striker, who turns 18 in September, ended last season training under Guus Hiddink alongside the likes of Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka with Chelsea's first-team squad.
West Ham United CEO Scott Duxbury said: "I am very pleased to be able to welcome Frank to West Ham where he will have the opportunity to compete for a place in Gianfranco's first-team squad. He has a very bright future and we will give him every chance to succeed. This is an excellent signing for the club.
"I can also assure fans we are concentrating on adding more quality to our attack to complement those we already have. This is an extremely busy time of the year and Gianluca Nani and I are working hard to bring in the players that Gianfranco feels will improve his squad for the new season."
Nouble was already well known to Zola and Clarke and not just because of his Chelsea connection. The forward scored twice against West Ham last season, notching in Chelsea's 4-3 reserve defeat by the Hammers in December, as well as the Blues' 4-2 Academy win at Little Heath last October.
He scored six U18 goals in 2007/08, making his debut for Chelsea's reserve team in November 2007. He became a full-time scholar at Stamford Bridge in June 2008.