West Ham United have gotten the jump on the summer transfer window, picking up a goalkeeper with international experience to challenge Adrian for the starting spot.
With backup Jussi Jaaskelainen set to depart, West Ham confirmed the signing of 28-year-old Darren Randolph on a free transfer from Birmingham City. The goalkeeper with two caps for the Republic of Ireland departs St. Andrew’s for the Hammers at the expiry of his contract on July 1.
West Ham will be the fourth parent club for Randolph and the ninth overall, having spent much of his six-year spell at Charlton Athletic out on loan while developing as a young player. After leaving Charlton in 2010, he spent three years at Scottish top-flight club Motherwell where he picked up both Champions League and Europa League experience as well as a pair of PFA Scottish Team of the Year nominations before moving to Birmingham in the summer of 2013.
He started in all but one of Birmingham’s 46 league matches last season, finishing his two-year spell there with 93 total appearances.
“My initial reaction to joining West Ham is excitement,” Randolph told the official West Ham website upon confirmation of his transfer. “It was a tough decision turning down Birmingham’s offer of a new contract because of the second part of the season we had and the team we had built. They are a great group of lads and staff but I felt like I couldn’t turn down the chance of joining a club like West Ham. Everybody wants to try and get to the top of their profession and I’m no different.”
Randolph is in the provisional squad for the Republic of Ireland’s international fixtures in early June against England and Scotland. The club says he will provide “long-term competition for first-team stopper Adrián.”