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West Ham complete permanent signing of Craig Dawson from Watford after impressive loan spell helps propel Hammers into Champions League contention


West Ham United have confirmed the permanent signing of Craig Dawson from Watford.

The central defender was relegated with the Hornets last season but was given another Premier League chance when David Moyes came calling with a loan offer.

Getty – Pool

Craig Dawson has signed a permanent deal to keep him at West Ham until 2023

Initially drafted in for his experience and to provide cover, Dawson was forced to settle for a place on the bench behind regular starters Issa Diop, Angelo Ogbonna and Fabien Balbuena.

Yet injuries and a hectic fixture schedule gave the 30-year-old an opportunity to feature at the start of the year and he has been a key man for Moyes in West Ham’s unlikely charge for a Champions League spot.

As part of the agreement with Watford, his 15th league start – against Wolves on Monday – triggered a clause to turn the deal into a permanent transfer with the fee understood to be around £2million.

“Coming to West Ham has been a great move for myself, and it is a privilege to play for a club with such rooted traditions,” Dawson told West Ham’s website.

“The squad has a real togetherness, team spirit and great quality. I’m excited for what my future at the club may hold and the potential for what we as a club can go on to achieve.”

The 30-year-old centre-back has scored four goals in all competitions since joining the Hammers

AFP

The 30-year-old centre-back has scored four goals in all competitions since joining the Hammers

Dawson, who played for Rochdale, West Brom and Bolton earlier in his career, was initially met with scepticism from some West Ham fans as they missed out on more illustrious centre-back targets like James Tarkowski and Wesley Fofana.

Yet he has since become a pivotal player for the Hammers and been an ever-present in the Premier League since coming into the back line.

Manager David Moyes said: “Craig’s performances, attitude and the impact he’s had demonstrate why he deserves a permanent deal.

“He had to be patient but he’s come in and grabbed his opportunity with both hands. We are always looking to improve the squad and Craig joining us permanently certainly does that.”



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