Accrington Stanley have today completed the loan signing of West Ham United defender Aji Alese until January 2020.
The 18-year-old has been a regular in West Ham's Under-18s and Under-23s since becoming a full-time scholar in the summer of 2017, by which time he had already made his Under-18 Premier League debut against Norwich City.
Alese has been capped by his country at various youth levels, and he is currently a member of the Under-19s squad.
The centre-back's involvement with the Under-19s therefore means that he will be unavailable for selection until after the Sky Bet League One game against Bristol Rovers.
After signing, Alese said: "I'm very excited, I've heard a lot about the club, I've done a lot of research and I can't wait to get started.
"So far I've only played Under-23s football, so I know League One is going to be tough, but if I can go there and do well then it will help me in my career a lot.
"I feel as though I bring pace, I can read the game well and I feel as though I can play with the ball at my feet as well."
Stanley manager John Coleman said: "He's a highly-rated prospect at West Ham and he's been around the England squads.
"This is the chance for him to make the transition from junior football to senior football, we feel as though he has the attributes to make that step and left-sided centre-backs are quite rare so thats another plus and hopefully he can kickstart his senior career with us.
"Players do benefit from the experience of others here and I've had very good reports about his character as well."
Alese is Stanley's second signing of the day following the arrival of striker Connor Simpson on loan from Preston North End.
Welcome Aji to Accrington Stanley on Twitter - he's @AjiAlese!
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