New West Ham United signing Doneil Henry has penned a heartfelt goodbye message to hometown club Toronto FC upon completing his switch to Upton Park at the weekend.
Henry, 21, was sold to Cypriot First Division side Apollon Limassol last year, but remained with Toronto on loan for the 2014 season. He returned to Limassol this winter, but then moved to West Ham for a reported £1.5 million before ever turning out for the club.
The promising centre-back, who has been capped 14 times for Canada, was the first player to graduate from the TFC academy when he joined the MLS club’s first-team in 2010, and went on to make 92 appearances over the next four seasons.
Having now embarked on a new chapter in his career, the Brampton, Ontario-native thus took the time to thank the team, supporters and the city that played such a crucial role in his footballing development.
Immediately slotting into Sam Allardyce’s first-team, Henry faces a major step up to the Premier League but his new manager, who signed him on the recommendation of ex-TFC head coach Ryan Nelsen, believes the defender can make grade in England.
"Ryan was my captain at Blackburn for a couple of years and he rang us and told us about Doneil," Allardyce told West Ham’s official website.
"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."
"He said this lad definitely has Premier League potential and he has everything he needs.
"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.
"We have invested in him for the near future, so we do hope he can make some sort of appearance this season if he settles in and does as well as Ryan thinks he will. If not, we hope he is certainly one for the future."