West Ham United have defended brilliantly this season.

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The Hammers’ organised and solid displays at the back have been the cornerstone behind our fine start to the 2020/21 campaign.

There is one problem, however. Nearly all of our defenders are approaching the twilight of their respective careers.

Angelo ogbonna will be 33 in May whilst Fabian Balbuena will be 30 when the new season starts.

Vladimir Coufal will be 29 in August and Aaron Cresswell is on the wrong side of 31.

In goal, Lukasz Fabianski and Darren Randolph will be 36 and 34 respectively before the start of next season.

The future is bright, however

There’s no need to worry Hammers fans. We have an incredible wealth of exciting young talent coming through the ranks at the London Stadium.

Photo by Arfa Griffiths/West Ham United FC via Getty Images

David Moyes has a plethora of young stars at his disposal.

Could this be West Ham United’s back six in 2026?

In the goalkeeping department, Moyes has Joseph Anang, Nathan Trott and Krisztian Hegyi coming through the ranks.

Anang, 20, is the most highly rated out of the three. In five years time he will be 25, and there is no reason why he won’t be ready to be playing regular Premier League football then.

In front of Anang, West Ham have a ready made back five.

Harrison Ashby really impressed when making appearances for the Hammers in the league cup this year. The 19-year-old is ideally suited to playing the right wing-back role.

At left wing-back, West Ham have Emmanuel Longelo. The 20-year-old has eight goals and four assists to his name in 34 games for the Hammers’ under-18’s (Transfermarkt).

Moving on to the three central defensive positions, the future really is looking bright for West Ham.

Aji Alese, 19, Jamal Baptiste, 17, and Frederick Alves, 21 have just 57 years on the planet between them!

Sure, they are all still very rough around the edges, but what incredible talents they are.

Alese and Baptiste have impressed so much for West Ham’s youth teams whilst proving that they can hold their own at senior level when playing for the senior side in pre-season friendlies and cup games.

Randers FC vs Silkeborg IF - Danish 3F Superliga
Photo by Lars Ronbog / FrontZoneSport via Getty Images

Alves is somewhat of an unknown quantity but he has been superb for Silkeborg over the past two years and the early signs are very good indeed.

West Ham may well have a rock solid defence in five years time. And we won’t have to spend a single penny in order to achieve that. We all know how important cohesion is when building a strong defence. The six players mentioned have the chance to grow together whilst understanding each others games in the process.

Some of our current stars may be ageing and approaching the end of their careers. The next crop of players coming through should be enough to make all of us feel at ease, however.

There could very well be exciting times ahead for West Ham!

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