Hammers sign John

Highly-regarded American defender George John has become West Ham United's first new recruit of the transfer window.

The imposing 24-year-old has signed on an initial two-month loan until 5 March from Major League Soccer side FC Dallas, with a view to a permanent signing. John, who had been tracked by several European clubs, will wear No25.

Speaking to West Ham TV, John said: "I am happy to be here, excited by the opportunity and enthusiastic about playing under the manager and getting better.

"I feel good and hopefully I can get into some training and get up to the pace."

Although new to the English game, he said he was well aware of the Hammers' standing.

"I know West Ham is traditionally a very strong club, one of the strongest clubs in England. I am looking forward to playing with the team and hopefully helping them in their promotion aims. They are in a good position in the Championship."

The defender said it might take him a little time to get up to speed as, although he has been training, he has not played a competitive match since 26 October.

"We will see how it goes. Maybe it will take two or three weeks to give me some time to develop and get back in the swing of things. Hopefully it will be a bit faster but who knows. Hopefully I can impress and get some game time with the first team. I am really looking forward to it.

"I have been to the training ground and met the manager. I am excited about being coached by him and developing my game. I want to learn a lot and understand about English football and just adapt my game."

The Washington-born centre-back has yet to be capped by the United States and is also eligible to play for Greece through his parents. He has trained with both national teams.

After a successful collegiate career with the Washington Huskies, John has risen to prominence over the last three MLS seasons, making 95 appearances in all competitions for Dallas since being recruited in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft.

He becomes the fifth American to sign for the club after John Harkes, Ian Feuer and Jonathan Spector, with compatriot Sebastian Lletget, an American Under-23 international, in the club's development squad.

Dan Potts has also been capped in a friendly by the US at U20 level, qualifying through his dad Steve, the former Hammers defender who was born in Hartford, Connecticut.

whufc.com will be the place to be for all the official transfer news first and fastest this window, with the club expecting further activity before the deadline on 31 January. You can also keep up to date with the latest from the Boleyn Ground @whufc_official via Twitter.