Former West Ham striker Jahmal Hector-Ingram has joined Derby County. The Rams announced on their official website that Hector-Ingram has signed a contract at Pride Park.
The 20-year-old left West Ham at the end of his contract, ending a 14-year association with the Irons. He played at every age group level and scored three league goals for the U23 team.
But he leaves West Ham without a senior appearance to his name. With game time limited in East London, the young striker has decided to pursue his career elsewhere and has joined Derby.
Jahmal Hector-Ingram to join U23 squad
Hector-Ingram joined Derby on trial earlier this summer and scored five goals in six games for the U23 team. His prolific record in front of goal has convinced the Championship club to offer him a contract. Shortly after signing, he started in Derby’s 1-0 loss to Chelsea U23s.
Speaking to dcfc.co.uk, Derby’s Academy Director Darren Wassall said: “When a trialist comes in, especially a centre-forward, all you can ask is that they score goals. He has done that and shown he is a great finisher.
“He has work to do on his all-round game, as everyone does in the Under-23s and Under-18s. We like what we have seen so far as a player and as a person. He has a great character.”
Jahmal Hector-Ingram: Future first-team Derby player?
Hector-Ingram has more chance of breaking into the Derby team this season than he does at West Ham. With Sebastian Haller, Javier Hernandez and Albian Ajeti in the first-team, only an injury crisis would open the door to the academy strikers in East London.
This is why a move to Derby is sensible. Hector-Ingram has dropped down the league, moved out of his comfort zone by relocating and now he is determined to prove himself away from West Ham.
If he continues to score at the rate he did in pre-season, Phillip Cocu cannot ignore him. Derby have several academy graduates in and around the first-team (including Jayden Bogle, Max Lowe and Mason Bennett) so the route to the first-team is available to Hector-Ingram if he impresses.