West Ham’s under-23 team eased their relegation fears with a much-needed Premier League 2 win last night. The Hammers travelled to Swansea City and picked up a 3-0 win, although they still remain in the relegation zone.
Manuel Pellegrini has been keeping his tabs on West Ham’s talented crop of youngsters and has given first-team chances to those who he feels are good enough.
There were several standout performances last night and here are four Hammers starlets who would have caught the attention of Pellegrini.
Joseph Anang appears to have leapfrogged Nathan Trott as the academy’s first-choice goalkeeper. And he proved exactly why in last night’s game.
Not only did the 18-year-old keep a clean sheet, he also saved a penalty in the first half with the scores level at 0-0.
The Ghana-born stopper’s stock continues to rise and a magnificent left-handed reaction save in the second half was another standout moment.
West Ham signed Mesaque Dju from Benfica on a free transfer in January and he scored his first goal last night.
After coming on as a substitute, the Portugal youth international got himself into a good position in the box to tap in from close range.
The 19-year-old is still finding his feet in the English game but that goal would have given him plenty of confidence.
Diminutive winger Dan Kemp was a constant threat to the Swansea defence, operating from the right flank and cutting inside onto his left foot.
The England under-20 starlet grabbed two goals to highlight why he should be in contention for a first-team promotion.
Kemp made no mistake from the spot to put the Irons 1-0 up. Then, the 20-year-old sealed the points with a fine low finish on his weaker right foot.
Nathan Holland would have probably made his first-team breakthrough by now if it was not for various injury problems.
But the ex-Everton winger showed that he was back to his best last night, terrorising the Swansea right-back with his pace and trickery.
The 20-year-old provided two assists; his first was an inch-perfect ball to Dju and the second was a mesmerising run before picking out unmarked Kemp on the right.