West Ham United have announced the signing of Germany international defender Thilo Kehrer.
The versatile 25-year-old arrives from French champions Paris Saint-Germain on a four-year contract with a two-year option, with West Ham having beaten off stiff competition from other leading European clubs to bring him to London Stadium.
A three-time Ligue 1 winner, UEFA Champions League finalist and a regular starter during Germany’s 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, Kehrer is a proven winner who will add international and European experience to David Moyes’ squad.
“I’m very excited to sign for West Ham United,” said Kehrer, who will wear the No24 shirt. “This is the best league in the world and I’m excited about coming to play in the Premier League.”
“I talked to the manager and he told me about how he sees me fitting in at the club. My biggest goal now is to get into the team, integrate myself within the group and enjoy playing for West Ham.”
Kehrer becomes the Hammers’ sixth summer signing following Morocco centre-back Nayef Aguerd, France goalkeeper Alphonse Areola, Italy centre-forward Gianluca Scamacca, Ivory Coast winger Maxwel Cornet and midfielder Flynn Downes.
No player has made more appearances or played more minutes under Germany manager Hansi Flick since he took charge of the national team in May last year.
Manager Moyes said the German fits the mould of the type of player he sees as the future of West Ham United – young, talented, driven and with the peak years of his career ahead of him.
“I am really pleased to welcome Thilo to West Ham United,” said Moyes. “He’s a talented player, who can play in a number of defensive positions, adding strength and depth to our current options.”
Born in the city of Tübingen in south west Germany to a German father and Burundian mother, Kehrer played for local clubs TSG Tübingen and SSV Reutlingen before joining Bundesliga club VfB Stuttgart at the age of 14. Two years later, he moved north to Schalke 04, where he captained the club to the German U-19 Championship in 2015.
Predominantly a centre-back, Kehrer is also comfortable in either full-back position and even played regularly as a deep-lying midfielder as a youngster, making his Bundesliga debut for Schalke 04 in that position as a 19-year-old substitute against Wolfsburg in February 2016.
At 20, the defender established himself in Schalke’s first team in 2016/17, scored his first Bundesliga goal against Borussia Dortmund and appeared eight times as the club reached the UEFA Europa League quarterfinals, then won the UEFA European U-21 Championship with Germany in the summer of 2017.
After making 33 appearances for Schalke and catching the eye of some of Europe’s biggest clubs in 2017/18, Kehrer joined Paris Saint-Germain for a £33m fee in August 2018, then made his senior Germany debut in a friendly international with Peru the following month.
Since moving to the French capital, Kehrer has made 128 appearances across four seasons, won three Ligue 1 titles and started PSG’s 2020 and 2021 French Cup final victories and 2020 UEFA Champions League final defeat by Bayern Munich.
For Germany, the defender has been a regular starter over the last 12 months, helping his country qualify for the World Cup finals in Qatar and make an unbeaten start to their UEFA Nations League campaign.