Sunday 13 Sep
Updated Sunday 13 Sep 13:00
Development Squad

Hammers sign Serbian starlet Belic

West Ham United are delighted to announce the signing of exciting young striker Luka Belic
West Ham United are delighted to announce the signing of exciting young striker Luka Belic, who joins the Hammers on a permanent deal from top-flight Serbian outfit OFK Beograd, subject to international clearance. 

Capped by his native Serbia throughout the age groups, Belic became the youngest player to feature in Serbia’s top division as a 16-year-old in April 2012, a record which he holds to this day. 

Now an U19 Serbia international, the 19-year-old has signed a one-year deal with the option of a second and will start life at West Ham with Academy Manager Terry Westley’s Development Squad.

“It's a dream come true for me and I'm looking forward to playing games and scoring a lot of goals,” he told whufc.com. “I'm already loving it here! 

“I'm going to go step by step, work hard and play well for the U21s. I'm looking forward, firstly, to playing for the U21s and then, hopefully, my dream is to one day play for the first team. 

“I think it's going to be great here at West Ham. They're going to help me a lot and I plan to help the team a lot too. 

“My job is to score goals and hopefully, one day, when I play for the first team I will score goals. That's the thing that I like the most and that's what the fans can expect.” 

“Terry [Westley] told me a lot of great things about the Club. He showed me a video of how the Stadium's going to look next season and I told him that I'm hoping that next season I will play at that Stadium. I'm hoping that's going to happen.” 
It's a dream come true for me and I'm looking forward to playing games and scoring a lot of goals. I'm already loving it here!
Head of Academy Recruitment Dave Hunt believes the Academy have another promising prospect on their hands in Belic and hopes he can take full advantage of the opportunity before him. 

“He's an exciting signing for us in the forward department,” Hunt confirmed. “He'll go into the Development Squad, hopefully prove himself in there and then climb as high as we’re looking for from him. We hope to see him in the future pushing for first team opportunities. 

“We'd watched him a few times, he's enthusiastic, he works really hard out of possession for the team and is a good finisher. 

“He presses from the front really well, always looking to search in behind. His work-rate and desire to get in behind and get on the ball is exceptional and he's been impressive in the time that we've seen him.” 

Though Belic has only ever watched Barclays Premier League football from afar, he already feels well acquainted with West Ham’s fans and counts Hammers favourite Paolo Di Canio among his football heroes. 

He continued: “I know they have the best fans in England! I know they're blowing bubbles before the game and I always loved West Ham when I watched them on TV. 

“I always watch the Premier League, it's my favourite league and England is the best country for football. They have the best league in the world and I'm so happy to come here. 

“There were a lot of big players here. I know a lot of legends, like Paolo Di Canio, he's one of the best for me, he was a great player. I love him and hopefully one day I can be like him.”