What imminent Man City signing Jamal Baptiste has said about his reasons for leaving West Ham after troubles as the move takes a new twist.

West Ham academy centre-back Jamal Baptiste was once one of the most highly-rated young players in the country and being likened to Rio Ferdinand.

But after off the field issues saw him go completely off the radar for over a year, it barely made a splash when he left the Hammers back in May.

So there was shock this week when it was announced by Fabrizio Romano that Baptiste is set to join Premier League champions Manchester City imminently.

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What imminent Man City signing Jamal Baptiste has said about his reasons for leaving West Ham after troubles as move takes new twist

West Ham fought off alleged interest from elite clubs across Europe including Man City to sign England youth international Baptiste up to a pro deal.

David Moyes was a massive fan and included the big defender in several first team squads.

Back in 2020, West Ham academy coach Carlton Cole labelled Baptiste the new Rio Ferdinand.

The young defender mysteriously disappeared off the West Ham scene over the last year or so.

And when it was announced back in May that he was leaving the club, rumours had swirled about the issues which had led to his lack of progress at West Ham.

Here’s what imminent Man City signing Baptiste has said about his reasons for leaving West Ham after his troubles as the move takes a new twist.

Speaking to The Athletic, Baptiste dismissed speculation he had been absent from West Ham due to disciplinary issues.

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‘It was a difficult time in my life’

And the new Man City signing claimed illness followed by a rare and serious nerve condition called Guillain-Barre syndrome were the real reasons behind his off-field issues.

“I had glandular fever which later developed into Guillain-Barre syndrome (a rare and serious condition that affects the nerves),” Baptiste told The Athletic on leaving West Ham at the end of May.

“It was a difficult time in my life. (West Ham co-owner David) Sullivan let me see his private doctor and I can’t thank him enough for actually believing me that there was something wrong in the first place.

“He trusted me, and I thankfully found out I had an issue which needed to be sorted out. I thanked him big time because he’s the one who pushed for the tests. I saw his doctor four to five times in the space of a week.”

Baptiste said he wants to spread awareness of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a condition that mainly affects the feet, hands and limbs, causing problems such as numbness, weakness and pain.

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Twist to Man City signing of ex West Ham prodigy as move will be via Belgium

But he was keen to ‘put the record straight’ after West Ham boss Moyes publicly stated the player had ‘not helped himself, I’ve got to say, partly as well’.

“There were times where I’d be at training and I’m falling asleep in the physio’s room, but I’ve had a long sleep the day before,” Baptiste added.

“People were thinking I was always going to bed late. I think that affected my timekeeping and occasionally turning up to training late. Maybe I should’ve dealt with that better by speaking to coaches or getting help earlier. I always hold myself accountable but there were times I’d wake up and think, ‘I’m not playing football. I’m not doing what I love. I don’t want to go training just to practically do nothing’.

“That wasn’t the way to think and, thankfully, I’ve got out of that mindset.”

Treble winners Manchester City will be hoping Baptiste is over his problems and clearly believe in the young star.

But there has been a twist to the story with regards his move to Man City.

Romano has revealed that Manchester City will be loaning Baptiste straight out to Belgian City Group side Lommel.

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