West Ham United are delighted to announce the signing of coveted striker Sam Baldock.
The in-form 22-year-old has moved to the Boleyn Ground from League One leaders MK Dons on a four-year contract with an option for an additional year. The Hammers beat several clubs to the signing, paying an undisclosed fee for the forward after his spectacular start to the 2011/12 season.
Baldock, who passed a medical on Friday afternoon before putting pen to paper in the evening, has netted six goals in six appearances, including a hat-trick in a 6-2 victory over Chesterfield and the second in a 4-0 Carling Cup second-round victory over Premier League Norwich City in midweek.
He will wear the No7 shirt for the Hammers and is set to make his debut at home to Portsmouth on Saturday 10 September.
Speaking exclusively to West Ham TV, he said: "I am pleased to be here. I am just excited to be coming to such a great club, caked in so much history. I just want to hit the ground running.
"It is a massive club, isn't it? You just have to turn up at the stadium and your head is looking up straight away. The area, the fans are so passionate. I want to show what I can do for them and hopefully everyone will be proud of me."
Born in Bedford, Baldock joined MK Dons as a trainee in July 2004, making his debut as a 16-year-old in a Football League Trophy tie against Colchester United on 20 December 2005.
Quick and sharp with an eye for goal, the young forward established himself in the Dons' first team during the 2007/08 season, appearing in the Football League Trophy final victory over Grimsby Town at Wembley in March 2008 and helping the club to win the League Two title.
The following season, 2008/09 began with a first senior goal as MK Dons knocked Norwich out of the League Cup and ended with a call-up to England's squad for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup finals in Egypt. There, he appeared in the group-stage fixtures against Ghana and Uzbekistan.
Baldock's stock continued to rise in 2009/10 as he bagged ten goals in 28 appearances in all competitions, followed by another 14 in 34 games last season, including a hat-trick in a 3-1 victory at Colchester on 12 March 2011.
The striker's goals helped MK Dons reach the League One Play-Offs last term but, despite another goal from Baldock, they were eliminated by Peterborough United in the semi-finals.
The young frontman has played against West Ham previously, turning out in MK Dons' 2-0 pre-season defeat by the Hammers at stadium:mk on 28 July 2010.
Baldock becomes the club's seventh summer signing, although Allardyce has hinted at more new arrivals before the transfer window closes on Wednesday night. whufc.com will have all the news first and fastest when official.