Sam Allardyce on when new signing Henry could feature for West Ham

Doneil Henry became West Ham's first signing of the January transfer window.

Sam Allardyce has said that new signing Doneil Henry is a player for the near future after his signing was confirmed on Saturday.

The Hammers boss revealed that he was recommended by former defender Ryan Nelsen who Allardyce had worked with at Blackburn Rovers. Nelsen coached Henry at Toronto FC.

Allardyce was speaking at a press conference ahead of his side's third round FA Cup tie against Everton, where he told reporters: "He's a player for the near future we hope. He was recommended by Ryan Nelsen from his time at Toronto FC, who was my captain at Blackburn Rovers. Ryan himself was a fantastic central defender. Doneil came here on a trial and impressed us. He's only 21 so he has a lot of potential and hopefully he'll be challenging for a place soon."

It may have been a day when he commented on the future of one of his defenders, with Winston Reid likely to leave the club at the end of the season when his contract expires, given he has been linked with several high profile Premier League clubs. However this is certainly a look to the future with the acquisition of Henry.

Upon Henry's signing, Allardyce seemed confident of moulding the 21-year-old Canadian into a defender well equipped for the challenges of the Premier League.

He said: "With a little coaching from us and work in terms of how to defend in the Premier League, Ryan says he has all the attributes to be a good player."

With hopes of him challenging for a place in the first team soon, it doesn't seem as if it will be long before Hammers fans get a look at their latest signing.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch