West Ham United are delighted to confirm the signing of promising young goalkeeper Raphael Spiegel from Grasshopper Club Zurich for an undisclosed fee.
Spiegel, a Switzerland Under-20 international, has signed a contract until 2015 with an option for a further year and will arrive at Chadwell Heath this week. The 19-year-old has represented his country at U17, U18, U19 and U20 level and is regarded as one of his country's outstanding prospects.
The 6'3 tall goalkeeper's most-recent international appearance saw him keep a clean sheet in a 1-0 U20 friendly victory in Portugal in April 2012 - his second cap at that age-group level. Previously, he made four appearances for Switzerland's U19s and travelled to the FIFA U17 World Cup finals in Nigeria in 2009.
Despite his tender years, Spiegel has already amassed a decent amount of first-team experience at club level, appearing 17 times for SC Bruhl SG in the Swiss Challenge League - the second highest tier in his homeland - last season. The previous two campaigns saw Spiegel play a combined 41 games for Grasshopper Club's second team in the 1.Liga - the third tier of Swiss football.
The teenager is expected to provide support and cover for senior goalkeepers and fellow summer recruits Jussi Jaaskelainen and Stephen Henderson as Sam Allardyce shapes up his squad for the new Barclays Premier League season.
Keep an eye on whufc.com for exclusive reaction from Spiegel soon.