Is highly-rated Stephen Hendrie the real reason West Ham could cash in on Aaron Cresswell?

Aaron Cresswell

A young Scottish left back could be the real reason West Ham United are willing to sell their player of the season Aaron Creswell to London rivals Chelsea.

The name Stephen Hendrie probably evokes memories of the legendary snooker player for most Hammers fans.

But in fact his footballing namesake and fellow Scot could well turn out to be the best bit of business done by the club before he has even kicked a ball in East London.

When the Hammers completed the protracted signing of the young Scottish left back from Hamilton in January, Sam Allardyce's team were flying high in and around the European places of the Premier League. The 20-year-old's capture slipped somewhat under the radar but may well be the shrewdest piece of business yet by co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold.

The Scotland Under 21 international is highly rated by club and country and West Ham were so determined to sign him they had to resurrect a move that had seemed dead in the water after a wrangle over terms with his club.

And we could be about to find out why if Cresswell, who is likely to be named the club's Hammer of the Year, does get the green light to move to Champions-elect Chelsea for a fee rumoured to be as high as £20 million, as reported by several sources including the Telegraph.

Glasgow-born Hendrie very much fits the mould of West Ham's change in policy over signings. The club wanted to target younger players with good injury records and the potential to make the Irons a profit should they choose to sell.

Speaking to the club's official website after signing in January, the stylish, all-action left back said he couldn't wait to get started at the club come the summer.

"I'm thrilled to bits," he said.

"Since I was a kid I always wanted to play in the Premier League and I've got a fantastic chance to do that now. When the summer comes around I'll be working as hard as I can and see what happen.

"It's a good challenge, a new challenge and I'm just buzzing to get started."

Hammers chief executive Karren Brady said in her column in The Sun that West Ham were not interested in selling Cresswell. But the signing of Hendrie could well persuade the club to make a huge profit on the former Ipswich man knowing they have a young, hungry replacement to come into the fold.

Stephen Hendrie: A Potted History

So what do we know about Hendrie, apart from the fact he is already a headline writer's dream?

He made his debut for Hamilton in July 2011 in the Scottish Challenge Cup.

At just 20-years-old he has already made more than 100 appearances for the club.

He has represented Scotland at Under 17, 19 and 21 level.

His boyhood club was Celtic.

He signed a pre-contract agreement to join West Ham from July and due to his age the deal was subject to a compensation settlement between the Hammers and Hamilton.

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