English right-back Jeremy Ngakia left West Ham United in June after refusing to sign a short-term contract extension till the end of the campaign.
The 19-year-old played just five Premier League games for David Moyes’ side after making his debut in January against Liverpool, and he is currently a free agent.
Ngakia is expected to join Watford in the English Championship in the coming days, and the decision has left many confused as it appeared that he was assured of regular football had he remained at the London Stadium.
The West Ham academy graduate hadn’t commented on his exit until now, finally reacting thus to it on Instagram:
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I want to say an enormous thank you for all the love and support I received during my time at West Ham. I want to personally thank the manager for the opportunity he gave me to play Premier League football for the club, which was special – making my first team debut against Liverpool will stay with me forever. I want to say a huge thank you to the fans for the amazing support they gave me during my time at the club. I also want to thank everybody at the club who helped me along the way, particularly my teammates who supported me. I have learnt so much from you all and I will never forget my journey @westham ⚒❤️
As reported by Sky Sports, while Ngakia wanted an improvement on the scholarship deal he was receiving at West Ham, he was keen to base any decision on his next move on playing time rather than increased wages.
However, he was not given assurances by West Ham that he would be a first-team regular, with Ryan Fredericks and Ben Johnson also right-back options for Moyes, and he was convinced to join Watford due to the increased chance of playing regularly and gaining consistent experience going forward.
Bundesliga side Schalke were also interested in the services of Ngakia, but he is now set to sign a four-year deal with the Hornets, and it will be interesting to see how he fares at Vicarage Road going forward.