West Ham United are delighted to announce the capture of New Zealand FIFA World Cup defender Winston Reid.
The 22-year-old has joined the Hammers on a three-year contract from Danish Superliga club FC Midtjylland for an undisclosed fee. He had a medical on Thursday afternoon and met with the manager Avram Grant at Chadwell Heath. He then headed to the Boleyn Ground to finalise his dream move later in the evening.
Reid becomes the fifth new recruit after Thomas Hitzlsperger, Pablo Barrera, Frederic Piquionne and Tal Ben Haim. Reid had caught the eye at this summer's tournament in South Africa, where he scored a dramatic late equaliser against Slovakia and helped the unheralded All Whites to further impressive draws with Italy and Paraguay.
A towering presence, the North Shore-born player is excited about the prospect of testing himself in the Barclays Premier League following five seasons and more than 80 appearances for Midtylland.
"I am looking forward to getting started," he told whufc.com, while taking his first look around the Boleyn Ground. "My dream has been to come and play in the Premier League and I am happy that I am a West Ham player.
"It has been a mad couple of weeks and the last couple of days have been pretty hectic, so I am just happy to be here now. I am pretty decent fitness-wise. I had a game last Sunday so I am in pretty good nick.
"The World Cup was a life-changing experience and something I will remember forever. I want to bring the positives from that here on the pitch at West Ham.
"This club has great history and the league is one of the best in the world. I am looking forward to the challenge ahead."
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Reid, who is of Maori heritage, moved from his native New Zealand to Denmark at the age of ten, beginning his career with local club SUB Sonderborg.
The 6'3" centre-back signed professional terms with Midtjylland at the age of 17 in 2005, having come through the same Academy structure as Palermo and Denmark defender Simon Kjaer.
In 2007/08, Reid played four times in Europe as Midtylland reached the UEFA Cup first round before being defeated by Russian club Lokomotiv Moscow.
At domestic level, he totalled 85 Superliga appearances for his club, turning out for the final time in a 1-0 defeat at Brondby IF on 1 August.
Having been a Danish citizen since 2006 and represented the country at U19, U20 and U21 levels, Reid opted to play for the nation of his birth at senior level earlier this year.
After making his debut in a friendly against Australia in May, the defender impressed in a surprise 1-0 victory over Serbia, cementing his place in Ricki Herbert's World Cup squad.
In South Africa, the versatile Reid was in imperious form in his other preferred position of right-back, showing his adaptability and ability to perform at the very highest level.