West Ham U23s have only lost one game all season and they are unbeaten in the league.
Consequently, there are several youngsters knocking on the door for a first-team promotion. There has been a lot of talk about the likes of Conor Coventry, Nathan Holland and Goncalo Cardoso moving into the senior set-up.
But what about Anthony Scully? The young striker has flown under the radar and continues to impress. It is now time to give Scully the chance to compete with Albian Ajeti as the back-up option for Sebastien Haller?
Circumstances open door for Anthony Scully
At the end of last season, Scully was not even in the frame to be considered as a potential first-team striker for West Ham. This was mainly because he was an attacking midfielder back then.
Last summer, Manuel Pellegrini allowed a number of strikers to leave the club. Andy Carroll was released, Marko Arnautovic finally got his China move, Lucas Perez returned to Spain and Jordan Hugill was sent on loan to QPR.
Sebastien Haller and Albian Ajeti came in but Javier Hernandez was then sold to Sevilla. This leaves West Ham with just two senior strikers. Xande Silva, the third-choice on paper, has been out since requiring an operation in the summer.
Meanwhile, young striker Oladapo Afolayan has gone to Mansfield Town on loan and Jahmal Hector-Ingram has joined Derby County permanently. Sean Adarkwa and Mesaque Dju have both been ruled out with long-term injuries.
This opened an unlikely door for Scully to become the starting striker for the U23s. And his performances have exceeded all expectations so far.
Anthony Scully catches the eye
Scully has made sure that his opportunity as a striker has not been wasted. In eight competitive games this year, he has chalked up an impressive tally of eight goals.
No matter what the level is, this is an impressive haul. The Republic of Ireland youth starlet has shown that he can be a fox-in-the-box style striker, getting into good positions and finding the net.
This form will not have gone unnoticed. Pellegrini and U23 coach Dmitri Halajko will be in constant discussion about West Ham’s best youth players. Scully’s name will surely have to pop up sooner or later.
The 20-year-old has proven his goalscoring credentials in the U23s while Ajeti is yet to find his feet. Perhaps there should be a role reversal. Scully takes the spot on the bench for the first-team while Ajeti gets up to speed in the U23s.