West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini has included two academy players in his squad to travel to Oxford. West Ham face Oxford United tonight in the Third Round of the EFL Cup and there will be some changes.
According to known and trusted insider EXWHUEmployee, Conor Coventry and Nathan Holland will be included in the first-team squad. On Twitter, EXWHUEmployee said: “Nathan Holland and Conor Coventry and both in the squad and there are multiple changes to Sunday’s team. That’s all I will say at this point.”
He later confirmed that one homegrown player would be starting for the Hammers tonight. However, that could also include Mark Noble or Declan Rice.
Conor Coventry in the midfield
Coventry is a ball-winning midfielder who has excelled in the U23 team. He sometimes captains the side and he is very much in the mould of fellow academy product Declan Rice.
The 19-year-old offers tenacity and the ability to pick his passes. He already has two senior appearances to his name – both in the EFL Cup – and will be hoping for a third opportunity tonight.
Nathan Holland on the wing
Holland is considered to be one of West Ham’s most exciting young talents. With plenty of goals and assists already this season, the 21-year-old has shown he is way too good to be playing U23 football.
The former Everton winger might have got more opportunities by now if not for a bad injury last season. But Holland has roared back from that setback and is playing the best football of his career. This should surely earn him an opportunity in the cup.