Sears signs for Scunthorpe

Avram Grant has agreed to send Freddie Sears on a month-long loan to Championship side Scunthorpe United - and could make his debut away to Preston North End tonight.

The 20-year-old striker has been in sparkling form since the summer, impressing in pre-season and in recent reserve-team fixtures. The manager has decided he will benefit from regular first-team football in a bid to force his way past the leading quartet of Freddie Piquionne, Victor Obinna, Benni McCarthy and Carlton Cole.

The England Under-21 striker had two loan spells in the second tier of English football last season, first with Crystal Palace and then with Coventry City after two games back in the Hammers first team in between.

Scunthorpe has been a popular destination for Hammers youngsters in recent times - both current reserve-team skipper Jordan Spence and summer departee to Plymouth Argyle, Bondz 'Gala had spells there last season. Sears joins Matthew Fry (Charlton Athletic) and fellow forward Frank Nouble (Swansea City) out on loan.