West Ham have announced they have completed the signing of Middlesbrough midfielder Gary O’Neil for an undisclosed fee.
Avram Grant has been keen to add to squad this January and along with the signing of Demba Ba, O’Neil will be a vastly important individual when it comes to this league. O’Neil had played over 150 games for Portsmouth before leaving for Teesside, signing for Middlesbrough in 2007 for a fee of £5M and had enjoyed a successful spell with Middlesbrough in the nPower Championship.
O’Neil had played under Grant at Portsmouth back when they were in the Premier League and its been understood that Grant had been keeping a watchful eye over the Englishmen when he was plying his trade with Middlesbrough. Grant has signed O’Neil on an initial two-and-a-half-year contract.
O’Neil has played in the Premier League before for Portsmouth and is ready for what lies ahead. Talking to whufc.com he said:
“I am really pleased to sign. It all happened very quickly. I played for Middlesbrough at the weekend and didn’t know anything was going to happen. It has all gathered pace since then. There was also a big rush to do it quickly when they realised I wasn’t cup-tied.
“I enjoyed my time at Middlesbrough, the fans and staff were really good but it has been difficult time on the pitch. It is nice to be back in the Premier League and play at the top-level, which everyone wants to do. I am London born so it is good to come home.
West Ham have been keen to bolster their options up front, largely depending on skipper Scott Parker to carry them for large chunks of the season thus far. O’Neil is a left-footed, left-mid and will hopefully become a decent signing for the Hammers as they attempt to claw their way out of the relegation zone.