Josh Payne has joined League One promotion-chasers Colchester United on loan for an initial month.

The midfielder, who turns 19 next month, linked up with his new team-mates on Thursday and could make his debut for the U's in Saturday's home fixture with Walsall

Payne, who has made three first-team appearances for West Ham United under Gianfranco Zola, will hope to get vital senior experience under his belt at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

The former U18 captain enjoyed a productive loan spell in League One last season, spending three months at Cheltenham Town, where he scored once in 13 league and cup appearances.

Payne becomes the sixth West Ham youngster to go out on loan this season, following Freddie Sears (Crystal Palace), Jordan Spence (Scunthorpe United), Matt Fry (Gillingham), Anthony Edgar (AFC Bournemouth) and Holmar Orn Eyjolfsson (Cheltenham Town).