West Ham United is delighted to announce the signing of midfielder Flynn Downes.
The 23-year-old, a lifelong Hammer, joins the Club from Swansea City on a five-year contract, with a further one-year option, for an undisclosed fee.
A gifted passer, strong tackler and combative all-round player who is already closing in on 150 career appearances, Downes has been earmarked by manager David Moyes as a player with the potential to shine at Premier League level.
The former England U20 international is relishing the opportunity to continue his career with his boyhood team after West Ham beat off the challenge of a number of leading clubs to secure his services.
“It’s a surreal feeling to have joined my boyhood Club,” said Downes, who will wear the No12 shirt. “I feel like I’m dreaming.
“It’s been my dream since I was a little boy to join this Club - it’s an absolute privilege. This is my Club, so I couldn’t be more delighted. I’m glad to be here and I can’t wait to get started.
“I want to be the best I can be and this feels like the perfect opportunity to test myself against the very best players in the Premier League.
“Players have come to West Ham from the Championship and progressed to international honours. That’s something you can’t ignore. The manager’s track record of bringing players through was a big motivation in me joining the Club.
“I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be a West Ham player.”
Moyes, who has taken an active role in Downes’ scouting and recruitment, will give the player time to settle into his new surroundings and is hopeful he can join the long list of EFL Championship players he has helped make the step up to the Premier League.
“We are pleased to have signed Flynn and are looking forward to bringing him into the group,” said Moyes.
“We think he's got good energy. We think he's got a lot of things which we have about our team, which we would want to keep and want to add to. I'm looking forward to it.
“We brought Jarrod Bowen from a similar situation at Hull, so we're always trying to find boys from the Championship who we think are going to step up to become Premier League players. I'm hoping that Flynn does. I think there's a good chance as he's got an awful lot of good attributes.”
Born in Brentwood in Essex in January 1999, Downes played for local junior club Ongar Town before joining Ipswich’s Academy at the age of seven. He would spend 15 years with the Suffolk club, making his first-team debut in a Championship win over Birmingham City in November 2017, aged 18.
Later the same season, Downes joined Luton Town on loan and played ten times to help the Hatters win promotion from League Two, while he also won Ipswich’s Young Player of the Year award.
That spell at Kenilworth Road and his continued development convinced Ipswich manager Paul Hurst to make him a first-team regular from the start of the 2018/19 season, still aged just 19.
Hurst’s replacement Paul Lambert was also a fan, and Downes had made 99 appearances for the Tractor Boys, by now in League One, when new Swansea manager Russell Martin moved for his services in August 2021.
He settled quickly at the South Wales club on his return to the Championship, taking the No4 shirt and totaling 39 appearances in all competitions. Of all midfielders in the division, Downes ranked first in pass-completion percentage and second in passes made per 90 minutes, illustrating his strong influence on the game.
Everyone at West Ham United would like to welcome Flynn to London Stadium and wish him every success for his career in Claret and Blue.