Vashon Neufville was back on the pitch last night as West Ham’s under-23 side faced Dinamo Zagreb in the International Cup.

West Ham’s academy side were beaten 2-0 by their Croatian visitors but Neufville made his comeback from injury.

And at a time where Manuel Pellegrini is looking for young players to step forward, can Neufville take his chance?

There is a clear route to the first-team for academy players, as shown by Declan Rice and Grady Diangana.

And with left-back becoming a problem position at West Ham, Neufville will have his eyes on a promotion.

Left-back conundrum

Arthur Masuaku and Aaron Cresswell have been out of form. (Photo by Arfa Griffiths/West Ham United via Getty Images)

Left-back is becoming an increasing concern for Pellegrini. The Chilean has chopped and changed in that position this season but neither of his first-choice options are performing well.

Aaron Cresswell has not been the same player since his return from a bad injury two seasons ago.


The former Hammer of the Year used to be one of the first names on the team-sheet but now he is struggling to keep his spot in the side.

And Arthur Masukau’s defending is questionable with many fans raising suspicions that the DR Congo international would be better suited to a role on the wing.

Is Vashon Neufville the answer?

Vashon Neufville is a regular for West Ham’s academy team. (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Pellegrini could look to use the January transfer window to bring in a new left-back and shore things up at the back.

But he might be keen to run the rule over Neufville in the next six weeks.

The 19-year-old is highly rated and has been chased by Arsenal and Manchester City in the recent past.

Having just returned from injury, it is time Neufville staked his claim for a first-team spot.

Pellegrini might think that the talented teenager is not quite ready for first-team action but it is worth keeping an eye on his progress before the January window opens.