West Ham will need to make a decision on the future of academy starlet Joe Powell soon.
Powell signed a new one-year contract extension last summer after returning from a loan spell at Northampton Town. But this only gave him one year to convince the Irons to extend his deal further.
When the January window opens, West Ham will be considering whether to loan Powell out or keep him at the club. But there is another decision to make. With his contract entering its final few months, will West Ham reward him with a new deal? Here is why the club should give him an extension.
Leadership, skill & positive attitude
Powell has shown his professionalism this season after returning from his loan spell at Northampton. After failing to leave on loan before the end of the summer window, Powell has knuckled down and worked hard for the academy.
He sets the standard for the other up-and-coming academy players with his training and his performances for the U23 team. The left-footed midfielder is clearly a gifted footballer and he has shown this on several occasions for the U23s.
With three goals and a number of assists so far this season, the 20-year-old is shining at youth level. He operates in a central role but he is also comfortable on the left or even as a full-back. Dimitri Halajko loves having Powell in his side because he offers talent, a hardworking ethic and versatility.
Moreover, Powell has exhibited his leadership skills. The local lad has taken the captain’s armband on a number of occasions this season. He is respected by his U23 peers and his performances reflect Halajko’s decision.
It is hard to tell whether Powell will make it at West Ham. But he has certainly earned the opportunity to give it a try. His performances for the U23 team should prompt Manuel Pellegrini to take a closer look in the near future.
Alongside Dan Kemp and Nathan Holland, West Ham’s midfield options in the academy look strong. Powell has played one first-team game for West Ham, coming on as a substitute against Macclesfield Town and providing two assists.
Last season, he scored twice and registered one assist for Northampton. Powell is not necessarily going to be in the Hammers first-team in the future. But he certainly has the potential to get there and West Ham might end up regretting things if he isn’t handed a new contract.