Toronto FC academy product and 14-times-capped Canadian international Doneil Henry is close to signing for Premier League side West Ham United, according to multiple reports on Saturday.
Henry, 21, is currently under contract with Cypriot side Apollon Limassol following an unannounced transfer from and loan-back to Toronto at the beginning of the 2014 season. The Brampton, Ontario, native, who can play both center back and right back, is already quite familiar with West Ham after having trained with the club last winter during the MLS offseason.
A transfer fee and new contract are reportedly already agreed upon between the involved parties, with a UK work permit the only thing holding up the completion of the deal.
Sources confirm transfer fee, terms agreed on for Doneil Henry move to West Ham. Work permit is last obstacle. http://t.co/PEDuGqgjWr
— Neil Davidson (@NeilMDavidson) December 20, 2014
Doneil Henry’s representatives have confirmed to TSN that the work permit hearing is on Monday and if successful he will sign for West Ham
— Luke Wileman (@LukeWileman) December 20, 2014
Henry has been the source of plenty of heated debates amongst Canadian fans since he became a first-team regular for TFC in 2012. Blessed with exceptional athleticism and strength, Henry struggled at times to keep his concentration levels high and avoid simple mental mistakes, causing some to question just how high his ceiling really is.
At just 21 years of age, though, joining those coming down on the side of “he’ll be pretty darn good one day” is probably the safer of two bets. Henry made 92 first-team appearances for TFC well before turning 22, which he’ll not do until April, providing more than just a bit of experience ahead of this potentially massive career move.