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West Ham signs former TFC defender Henry

Photo by Nick Turchiaro/USA Today Sports

Former Toronto FC defender Doneil Henry is England-bound.

West Ham announced Saturday that the club had signed the 21-year-old centerback from Cypriot First Division club Apollon Limassol for an undisclosed fee. Henry had been on-loan with TfC for the 2014 season after being sold to the Cypriot club earlier in the year.

“It feels good to be given the opportunity to come and train and see what it’s like to be part of a Premier League team and I just want to get started and get into the team real soon,” said Henry. “I had a really good relationship with (former TFC coach) Ryan Nelsen and I always wanted to see what it was like to play at another level, the highest level, and I got the opportunity to come over here. Since then, I was just hoping to come back and now it’s happened, I want it to continue on and keep playing.

Henry comes to West Ham on the recommendation of Nelsen, who spoke highly of the defender to West Ham manager Sam Allardyce.

“Ryan was my captain at Blackburn for a couple of years and he rang us and told us about Doneil,” Allardyce said. “He said this lad definitely has Premier League potential and he has everything he needs. With a little coaching from us and work in terms of how to defend in the Premier League, Ryan says he has all the attributes to be a good player.

“We have invested in him for the near future, so we do hope he can make some sort of appearance this season if he settles in and does as well as Ryan thinks he will. If not, we hope he is certainly one for the future.”

Henry, who has earned 14 caps for Canada, made 19 starts for TFC in 2014, scoring one goal. In total, the centerback made 70 MLS appearances with 55 coming in starts.


What do you think of Henry’s move to West Ham? How will he fare in his first season with the club?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Yep. That’s exactly what he did. TFC sold him to the Cypryot club only so he cold technically be working there. That allowed him to buy property in Cyprus.That allowed him to get a Cypryot passport, and with that he can get a work permit in England. Quite the loophole indeed. The cypryot club makes a profit by selling him to West Ham for more than they paid to TFC. He trained with West Ham before last season so this was all prearrangd and the cypryot club was only ever a middle man. TFC got a % of the sale to West Ham as a clause in their sale.

  2. Did he just do exactly what Juan Agudelo’s people claim they were going to do? Get “transfered” to Cyprus, “buy” property there, obtain a European work permit, and then move to England. Talk about a loophole.

      • I am Canadian.

        However that has nothing to do with my statement.

        It will be interesting to see if Yedlin can pass these players in Tottenhams depth chart.

        1. Kyle Walker, 24 (England first choice RB)
        2. Eric Dier, 20 (England U-21 first choice RB)
        3. Kyle Naughton, 26 (leaving potentially in January)

        Where Henry has:

        1. Winston Reid, 26 (leaving potentially in January)
        2. James Collins, 31
        3. James Tomkins, 25

        But we shall see, and I’ll wish I can say I told ya so

      • Spurs are still involved in four different competitions right now, have a manager that is most well known for giving young players opportunity, and have been thin at RB all season. People need to stop burying Yedlin before his tenure there has even started.

        Furthermore, Dier is not a RB. As a Spurs follower, I can emphatically tell you that his best position is CB and he only played RB for Spurs because Walker was injured and Naughton was suspended/injured. To add to that, Dier turned down an England U-21 call up to continue training with club coaches at CB.

        Spurs have played Vlad Chiriches at RB this season. I can assure you Yedlin will, and absolutely should, get his chance.

      • Page,

        No one is burying Yedlin.

        But the fact remains most of you and the rest of the world didn’t even know who this Henry guy was (you probably thought, didn’t he just retire and wasn’t he a RBNY player?).

        Compared to DeAndre, the expectations on Henry are comparatively low. Remember Spurs are JK’s old club, where he is still a hero and DeAndre is seen as JK’s World Cup player.

        Spurs at the moment are a lot more high profile with , as pointed out elsewhere, a more loaded roster.

        And that equates to greater pressure on DeAndre.

        How many of you even knew that Ryan Nelsen, the former TFC manager who recommended Henry to West Ham, made the transition straight from DC United ( when they were good) to the EPL pretty seamlessly and remains very highly respected for his play at centerback in the EPL?. If he is not the best former MLS player to play center back in the EPL, he is certainly in the top two or three.

        Of course he would recommend his guy to Big Sam but Nelsen certainly knows better than anyone what Henry needs to do to succeed as a center back in the EPL.

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