West Ham boss David Moyes addressed the media today ahead of his side’s huge clash with Southampton tomorrow, and offered high praise for talented youngster Jeremy Ngakia, as quoted by Football.London.
The 19-year-old has played just two senior games this season, against Liverpool on two separate occasions, and he has really impressed both times.
Ngakia has surely made the right-back position his own now after his Anfield heroics, at least until Ryan Fredericks returns from injury.
The youngster’s youthful enthusiasm, energy and pace has given West Ham an entirely different facet to their play down the right-hand side. Whilst Fredericks has bundles of pace, he seems to lack the confidence to get forward and go past his man – something that Ngakia has shown he is more than capable of doing.
The teenager also seems to be a very solid defender with a sound positional sense.
In two Premier League games thus far, the Hammers talent has racked up eight tackles, three interceptions, four clearances and six ball recoveries. He has also won 17 duals and five aerial battles (premierleague.com).
And Moyes absolutely raved about Ngakia, when speaking to Football.London today:
“He deserved praise. He did a great job. Did as well against Mane as I’ve seen. With young players it’s what comes next. Can you take it on? It’s part of going on to be a senior pro. Need to step up regularly. Always get away with a little bit because of age but we’re in a position where can’t afford to take too many risks. Have to say he has done brilliantly, really good.”
Ngakia quite simply has to start every game now. Moyes would be mad to play Pablo Zabaleta ahead of him. If the 19-year-old can handle playing at Anfield, he can handle anything.
And it seems as thought the Hammers have just produced another truly exceptional young talent.