Promising striker Divin Mubama has put pen-to-paper on his first professional contract with West Ham United.
Mubama – who turned 17-years-old on Monday – has been in outstanding form at the Academy of Football over the last year, finishing as West Ham United U18s’ top goalscorer in 2020/21 despite playing up an age group.
The forward’s eleven goals in 25 appearances for the U18s led to international recognition with England U17s and, this season, Mubama has picked up where he left off, scoring four goals in five U18s appearances while also making his U23s debut against Exeter City earlier this month.
I’ve loved every moment of it since coming in at the age of eight. I love the Club
Having joined the Academy as an eight-year-old, the Newham-born teenager was full of pride in signing his first professional contract at his boyhood Club.
“It’s a very proud moment for me and my family,” Mubama smiled.
“I’ve been at the Club since I was eight and have obviously just been working my way up through all the ranks. I’m still not done yet – but I’m delighted and happy.
“I had so many opportunities last season, and I was grateful to just go one step at a time and try to take them all.
“I want to thank [U13s/U14s Lead Phase Coach] Lauris Coggin, [U18s Lead Coach] Kevin Keen and [Academy Manager] Ricky Martin – and, to be fair, everyone that’s played a massive part in my development from since I first walked into the building.
“I’ve loved every moment of it since coming in at the age of eight. I love the Club.”
Academy Manager, Ricky Martin, added: “This is another great moment for the Academy.
“It’s good for Divin, good for his family and good for us. Now, we can look forward to developing him through the U18s and U23s squads over the coming years.
“I think everyone can see Divin’s talent on the pitch. He’s left-footed, very athletic and has an eye for goal, but probably the area I really enjoy working with him in is seeing him develop his really strong mentality.
“He’s really focused as a young centre-forward, and I think he knows that he wants to be one of the best. I’m looking forward to seeing how far he can take himself with that inner drive.”
A natural striker, Mubama started his footballing career as a left-back before having his goalscoring potential identified at U13s level.
The forward’s subsequent numbers speak for themselves, particularly when playing up age groups, but the enthusiastic youngster is keen to keep developing his all-round game as he seeks to hit the game’s heights in West Ham United colours one day.
“I feel like, when I play with a smile on my face, I just enjoy it more,” he explained.
“Playing with older players just makes me play better and perform better. I don’t really feel any pressure, but finishing as top goalscorer for the U18s [last season] was very special for me.
“I always just keep striving. I know there’s probably someone out there who also wants this opportunity, this one chance to play for the Academy, so I just don’t want to waste any second of it.”