West Ham United Women sign Japan international Riko Ueki

West Ham's new signing, Riko Ueki
Riko Ueki playing for Japan at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. (Joe Serci / SPP)

West Ham United have signed 24-year-old Japan international forward Riko Ueki from Japanese WE League side, Tokyo Verdy Beleza.

Ueki made over 130 appearances in helping Beleza to successive league titles between 2016 and 2019, while internationally she has 25 caps for her country and featured in all Japan’s matches at this summer’s World Cup.

“West Ham United is a team steeped in history and I’m really happy to be to be signing for such a great Club,” Ueki told West Ham TV.

“When I made the decision to join the club, I felt I needed to test myself in Europe. I think I will be able to improve as a footballer here and in doing so, do my best for the team as well.

“I have been in contact with Honoka [Hayashi] and Risa [Shimizu], and they were both really happy, encouraging and supportive for this move.”

Manager Rehanne Skinner told whufc.com: “Riko is a talented Japanese centre-forward who has had a successful summer with her country at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, being pivotal in her team’s progress throughout the tournament.

“Riko’s biggest assets from a skillset perspective are the timing of her movement and understanding of the game to try and create goalscoring opportunities.

“Riko has a variety of goalscoring skills, is very energetic and enthusiastic, and will help us to be more effective with our defensive set up from the front.

“She will form a fantastic part of the forward line within our team and I’m really excited to be working with her moving forwards.”

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