Dave Hunt outlines qualities of West Ham's new signing Luka Belic

West Ham Tube Sign

The Serbian joined the Hammers on a one-year deal today.

West Ham’s Head of Academy Recruitment Dave Hunt has outlined the qualities that tempted the club to snap up Serbian youngster Luka Belic, in an interview on whufc.com.

The 19-year old joined today on a one-year deal, with the option of a further year’s extension, as the Hammers look towards the future.

Belic will join the development squad initially but the staff at the club have first-team hopes for the Serbia Under-19 international and Hunt is delighted with his capture.

“He's an exciting signing for us in the forward department,” said Hunt

“He'll go into the Development Squad, hopefully prove himself in there and then climb as high as we’re looking for from him. We hope to see him in the future pushing for first team opportunities.”

On the specific qualities of the former OFK Beograd striker, Hunt added.

“We'd watched him a few times, he's enthusiastic, he works really hard out of possession for the team and is a good finisher.

“He presses from the front really well, always looking to search in behind. His work-rate and desire to get in behind and get on the ball is exceptional and he's been impressive in the time that we've seen him.”

Hammers fans will be eager to get a glimpse of the highly-rated youngster – who still holds the record as the youngest player to feature in the Serbian top flight – but his journey to the West Ham first team will be not be easy.

The likes of Andy Carroll, Mauro Zarate, Enner Valencia, Diafra Sakho and now Nikica Jelavic make up Slaven Bilic’s attacking options and breaking through amongst that crowd is unlikely in the immediate future.

Belic has spoken of his desire to be involved with the first-team next season and while his ambition must be lauded, it’s likely an extended spell with the Under-21’s and/or a loan spell away will have to be navigated before he can grace the Olympic Stadium pitch.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch