Bitter irony as Leeds United instantly dump Sonny Perkins into U21s after West Ham departure for ‘the good of his career’.
As reported by Hammers News, Perkins has chosen Leeds after his bitter West Ham departure and compensation will now be due.
Perkins rose to prominence with regular inclusion in the West Ham first team squad last season despite being just 17 at the time.
That clearly caught the attention of new Leeds manager Jesse Marsch.
Originally a midfielder, Perkins was switched to the striker role and shone for club and country, going on to establish himself as the number one forward for West Ham Under 23s and England Under 18s.
The Guardian and The Athletic had been reporting for some time that West Ham could lose the England youth international with the likes of Leeds vying for his signature this summer.
The news came as something of a shock to West Ham fans and had supporters of Leeds scrambling Google for information on the youngster.
Sure enough West Ham announced Perkins had decided to leave the club in an angry statement last month where they criticised his agents.
West Ham fans have not taken kindly to seeing one of their young players turn their back on the club.
The player himself has had his say on the decision to leave West Ham this week.
Perkins sent a classy but damning West Ham farewell message where he thanked West Ham for the memories and David Moyes for giving him his debut, but said he had to leave for the good of his career.
It was a damning indictment of how he saw the pathway to the Hammers first team and bad publicity for West Ham when it comes to convincing top young players that the London Stadium is the place to be.
Some West Ham fans could understand Perkins’ rationale believing he may have been offered the chance to be a bona fide Leeds first team squad player in the Premier League this season as an incentive to leave the Hammers for Elland Road.
Leeds today officially announced the capture of the ex West Ham academy graduate.
And there is bitter irony as Leeds announced they will instantly dump Perkins into their U21s after he stated his West Ham departure was for ‘the good of his career’.
“Leeds United are pleased to announce the signing of Sonny Perkins,” Leeds announced on the club’s official site.
“The 18-year-old forward has agreed a three-year-deal with the Whites, until 2025, after his contract at fellow Premier League side West Ham United expired this summer…
“Sonny becomes the club’s seventh summer signing, after the arrivals of Brenden Aaronson, Rasmus Kristensen, Marc Roca, Darko Gyabi, Tyler Adams and Luis Sinisterra.
“He will initially link up with the Under-21s side for the forthcoming season.”
How moving from West Ham’s youth team to Leeds’ youth setup will benefit Perkins’ chances of being a Premier League star is anyone’s guess.
By the time he is considered for the first team in the future there is no cast iron guarantee the Elland Road outfit will even be in the top flight.
Perkins’ old West Ham youth and current England U18 strike partner Divin Mubama set the new Leeds man straight about the Hammers first team pathway this week.
Sonny is a young kid who may well have been badly advised.
We wish him well but can’t help but feel he has made a massive mistake.