The West Ham academy has been renowned for producing great players over the years.

But who is next in the pipeline to make the step up to West Ham’s first-team?

In our latest feature, we look at academy starlet Josh Pask.

Who is he? And how good can he be? We take a closer look…

What do we know so far?

Josh Pask spent time on loan at Gillingham in the 2016/17 season. (Photo by Catherine Ivill – AMA/Getty Images)

Pask is a local boy, born in Waltham Forest, and has been with West Ham since he was 8-years-old.

The towering youngster is a dominant centre-half, who is good in the air and can play with the ball at his feet.

Arsenal tried to sign Pask in 2014 but he opted to stay with West Ham.

In his development, Pask has had two loan spells away from West Ham. He impressed in his six games for Dagenham & Redbridge when they were in League Two.

And then he played 15 times for Gillingham in the 2016/17 season before suffering an injury.

 

Unfortunately, injuries seem to be a common theme in Pask’s development.

The 20-year-old has had several setbacks. He would usually partner Reece Oxford for the under-23 side but he is currently out.

Can he make it?

It is always tough for players to step up from the youth team and break into a senior Premier League side.

Many West Ham academy players have not made the cut in the past few years.

But you only have to look at the glowing example of Declan Rice to know that it is possible.

Pask, when fit again, needs to use that as his motivation. He has the potential as he has shown at youth level.

And if he gets a chance, maybe out on loan or in the cup, he needs to prove to Manuel Pellegrini that he is ready to make the jump to first-team level.

But with Issa Diop and Fabian Balbuena in such good form, he may have to keep waiting for a while.

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