David Moyes looks to have a new set piece specialist right under his nose at West Ham United.

West Ham have not had a true free-kick dangerman since Dimitri Payet was making a mockery of Premier League walls and goalkeepers.

Aaron Cresswell can hit a great free-kick, but is not a regular scorer from dead balls in and around the edge of the box.

West Ham were the best side in the entire top flight when it comes to scoring from set pieces last season.

Photo by Laurence Griffiths Getty Images

West Ham have lacked free-kick specialist since Payet departure

But actually scoring direct from a free-kick was a less regular occurrence.

Said Benrahma has the ability to be that man.

But it seems Moyes could have a valuable weapon in the ranks on that front with the emergence of academy star Emmanuel Longelo.

That’s after the highly-rated left full-back scored two exquisite, top-corner free-kicks for West Ham’s Under 23s in a 3-0 win over Birmingham on Friday.

Longelo, who has been converted into a left-back cum left wingback from a striker in West Ham’s academy, stole the show.

West Ham United v Hull City - Carabao Cup Third Round
Photo by Arfa Griffiths West Ham United FC via Getty Images

Payet successor right under Moyes’s nose as young Manny shows his class

He twice found the top corner in the first half with consecutive efforts from set-pieces either side of a missed Birmingham penalty.

Both efforts were expertly executed, curling the ball over the wall to nestle in the corner of the goal.

Homegrown Hammer Longelo was handed a new deal back in May.

And it was easy to see why.

The left-back extended his stay with his boyhood team to the summer of 2023, with an option for a further year.

West Ham United U23 v Liverpool U23: Premier League 2
Photo by James Griffiths West Ham United FC via Getty Images

Highly rated academy left-back could be long-term successor to Cresswell

The 20-year-old made his first-team debut against Hull City in the Carabao Cup third round in September 2020, playing the closing 21 minutes of the 5-1 victory at London Stadium.

An adventurous and athletic left-back, Longelo has also played the most minutes of any member of the Hammers’ U23s squad last season, making a combined 25 appearances in Premier League 2 and the Papa John’s Trophy while recording five assists in the process.

Moyes is believed to rate the youngster highly and talk around the club is that he could well go on to succeed Cresswell as West Ham’s long-term left-back in the coming seasons.

In other news, Fabrizio Romano backs up West Ham transfer claims.

And it’s official as Messi’s departure makes West Ham man Europe’s number one.

Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know

More in Academy