West Ham U23 manager Dmitri Halajko thinks Jamal Baptiste is the perfect example of the club’s talented academy. Speaking to whufc.com, Halajko reserved special praise for Baptiste for stepping up to play U23 football.
Baptiste only made his U23 debut last week in the 1-0 win against Valencia B. But the 15-year-old followed it up with another clean sheet in the 2-0 win over West Brom on Monday night.
He is playing with players up to eight years his senior and he has contributed to back-to-back clean sheets. Baptiste is also a centre-back, which is arguably the toughest position on the pitch for someone so young and inexperienced.
Dmitri Halajko hints that Jamal Baptiste will go far
West Ham U23 boss Halajko – who has overseen a run of 14 games unbeaten – has used Baptiste to illustrate how talented the Hammers academy is. Halajko’s words indicate that he believes Baptiste is a future first-team player in the making.
Halajko told the club’s official website: “To have a 15-year-old ahead of him, Jamal Baptiste, really shows the level of talent that is at the West Ham academy. We’ve got a 15-year-old here that can play Under-23s level football, and help us to get two clean sheets on the bounce.”
Baptiste is certainly showing that he has all the ingredients to become a success at West Ham one day. But there is a long way to go and he needs to maintain his high levels in games for the U18s or the U23s. West Ham definitely have a top young talent on their hands.