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Dublin: 7 °C Tuesday 17 September, 2019

An Irish international has completed his move to a Premier League club

Darren Randolph is joining West Ham.

Randolph attracted plenty of attention from Premier League clubs.
Randolph attracted plenty of attention from Premier League clubs.
Image: EMPICS Sport

WEST HAM UNITED have made their first signing of the summer with Republic of Ireland international goalkeeper Darren Randolph arriving at Upton Park on a free transfer.

Randolph, who has two international caps, spent two seasons at Birmingham City but was out of contract at the Championship club and turned down a new offer to move to the Hammers.

The 28-year-old kept 12 clean sheets for Birmingham last term and made 92 appearances for the Blues after joining from Motherwell in 2013.

“My initial reaction to joining West Ham is excitement,” he said. “It was a tough decision turning down Birmingham’s offer of a new contract because of the second part of the season we had and the team we had built.

“It has been a long journey to try get back to the Premier League and a great achievement to be able to do so. It is where players all around the world would like to be.

“I’ve played for the last five seasons so I would like to think I can come in and challenge for a place in the team. Adrian’s had a fantastic season so it is going be tough, but it is a challenge I look forward to.”

With Adrián firmly in possession of the number one jersey at West Ham, Randolph will be forced to fight for his place but the change of management may work in his favour.

Darren Randolph and David Forde Source: James Crombie/INPHO

He was included in Martin O’Neill’s provisional squad for next week’s friendly against England and the crucial Euro 2016 Qualifier clash with Scotland.

Giovanni Trappatoni called the Bray-born ‘keeper up to the senior squad for the first time in 2011 and he made his debut against Oman at Craven Cottage twelve months later.

Randolph becomes the latest in a long line of Irish internationals to play for West Ham including Liam Brady, Gary Breen, Robbie Keane and Ray Houghton.

Defender Joey O’Brien is also currently on the books at the Boleyn Ground.

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Ryan Bailey

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