Xande Silva was probably the most low-profile of all West Ham’s summer signings.

However, he is already making waves in Under 23s football and is rapidly emerging as a potential outside bet for the first-team.

With Javier Hernandez sidelined and Lucas Perez woefully short on gametime, that is not an outlandish idea. The Checkatrade Trophy match against Bristol Rovers on Tuesday night provided Silva with the opportunity to catch Manuel Pellegrini’s eye.

Unfortunately, he was not able to take the opportunity with a goal, but he did come mighty close…

Inches away

Xande Silva of West Ham United during Premier League 2 match; between West Ham United Under 23s and Arsenal Under 23s at London stadium , London, England on 24 August 2018. (Photo by Action Foto Sport/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The young Hammers were beaten 2-0 on the night, thanks to goals from Alex Jakubiak and Tom Lockyer.

Yet, it was 0-0 at half-time and Silva came within a whisker of putting his side in the lead before the interval.

 

Netting the opener may well have caught Pellegrini’s eye as he looks for a greater depth of firepower in the senior ranks, but it was not to be. Just.

Can Silva really make an impact in the first team?

BRISTOL, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 18: Xande Silva of West Ham United in action during the Checkatrade Trophy Southern Group D match; between Bristol Rovers and West Ham United U21’s at Memorial Stadium on September 18, 2018 in Bristol, England. (Photo by Arfa Griffiths/West Ham United via Getty Images)

Silva is 21 years old, which means he should have some degree of maturity if he were to be relied upon as a first-team option.

He has represented Portugal at various age-group levels and there is no substitute for scoring goals in terms of having confidence to progress.

Silva is such an exciting option to have and if Marko Arnautovic isn’t fit in time to face Chelsea, he may well make the bench.

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