West Ham United have confirmed the permanent transfer of defender Craig Dawson.
Dawson was signed by West Ham in October on a loan agreement with Watford – but the defender had to wait until December before making his debut.
Since then, he has played every minute of league action and will remain a Hammer next season, the club confirmed on Tuesday afternoon.
As part of Dawson’s loan move, an agreement was in place that if he started 15 league matches for David Moyes’ team it would automatically trigger a permanent transfer to the London Stadium.
The fee for Dawson, including the cost of the loan, is believed to be between £2 and £2.5million with the defender receiving a two-year contract.
Speaking to the club website Dawson said: “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.
“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.”
Dawson had formed an excellent partnership with Angelo Ogbonna at the heart of defence before the Italian’s injury away to Manchester United in the FA Cup in February.
Without Ogbonna at his side, Dawson has become the leader of the Hammers defence and his manager is delighted with the deal to bring him to the club permanently.
“Craig’s performances, attitude and the impact he’s had demonstrate why he deserves a permanent deal. He arrived with a wealth of Premier League experience and that’s been really important to us.
“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.”
Why should you sign up?
In each football.london West Ham bulletin, we’ll be bringing you the latest breaking news, transfer features and comment pieces, as well as the key talking points for fans.
We’ll also send special newsletters when big stories break or there’s a special event happening.
How do you sign up?
It’s easy and only takes seconds.
Simply type your email address into the box at the top of this article – or any article on the West Ham section of football.london in fact – labelled ‘Get the biggest daily stories by email’ and click ‘Subscribe’.
And that’s it, you’re all set.
If you decide later that you no longer wish to receive the emails, simply follow the unsubscribe link in one of the newsletters – but we don’t think you’ll want to.
For more details, click here.
Dawson’s introduction to the West Ham team came with the side in tenth place and he has played a vital role in helping the Hammers up to fourth with just eight games remaining.
In Dawson’s 15 league starts the team have won nine, lost three and drawn three, keeping five clean sheets during that time.