West Ham were recently hit with the blow that Marko Arnautovic is set to miss the whole of December.
But his absence might open the door for another West Ham player; can Xande Silva use these circumstances to make a name for himself in the first-team?
Marko Arnautovic is out until the new year, as confirmed by Manuel Pellegrini in his pre-Crystal Palace press conference.
The Austrian joins West Ham’s growing list of absentees as he misses out with a hamstring injury.
Arnautovic limped off in the first-half against Cardiff City in midweek and he will miss the busy December period.
In Arnautovic’s absence, many West Ham players will be hoping to step up and fill his boots.
Javier Hernandez has started the last two games for West Ham and his double against Newcastle United last weekend is an encouraging sign.
Similarly, Lucas Perez is in form after he scored a brace against Cardiff. The Spaniard could get a start this weekend against Crystal Palace.
Andy Carroll has also returned from injury and he got some game time as a substitute against Cardiff.
The injury-prone target man will be aiming to stay fit and get a run in the first-team in Arnautovic’s absence.
Can Xande Silva step up?
But Arnautovic’s injury could present Silva with an opportunity to stake a first-team claim.
This would be similar to the rise of Grady Diangana, who replaced Andriy Yarmolenko after the Ukrainian suffered a long-term injury.
Silva joined West Ham in the summer from Vitoria Guimaraes and has been an instant hit for the youth side.
The 21-year-old had scored five goals in five games for the under-23 side, including a hat-trick against Tottenham on his debut, before suffering a hamstring injury.
But on his first game back, the Portugal youth international found the net twice, taking his tally to seven goals in just six games.
This sensational form cannot be ignored and Silva certainly has the potential to succeed at the highest level for West Ham.