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West Ham United boss Manuel Pellegrini has dropped his clearest hint yet he is ready to call on young striker Xande Silva.

West Ham have the longest injury list in the Premier League with no fewer than eight first team players out.

Several will be missing for the rest of the season.

Talisman Marko Arnautovic is the latest to be ruled out until 2019.

And that could leave West Ham short up front.

Strikers Javier Hernandez and Lucas Perez seem to have hit form at just the right time. Hernandez hit a brace in a 3-0 win at Newcastle before Perez did the same in the 3-1 victory over Cardiff last time out.

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Pellegrini needs strikers to step up in Arnautovic’s absence

Andy Carroll is back fit too although for how long is anyone’s guess.

But what Pellegrini is now desperately lacking up front is pace.

Sometimes the answer to your problems is right under your nose and that could be the case for Pellegrini.

The clamour for the Chilean to call-up to young striker Xande Silva is growing off the back of the 21-year-old’s performances and goals for West Ham’s Under 23s.

The Portuguese youngster, who has pace in abundance, was signed as one for the future in the summer.

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‘I hope Silva will help us’

But Pellegrini has dropped his biggest hint yet he is ready to call Silva up to the first team squad.

“Now with the long injury to Marko we have in that position also Andy Carroll, who is recovering from his injury,” Pellegrini told whufc.com.

“We have Lucas Perez, we have Javier Hernandez, we have Xande Silva, who is another young player. I hope all of them will help us in the absence of Marko.

“We have so many injuries to players in different positions, so all of our players must be ready. Not only the professional players, the young players too.

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Pellegrini a believer in youth

“We brought in (Grady) Diangana some months ago and I think we have other young players who could play in this moment.”

Pellegrini has proved he is not afraid to turn to youth.

Young stars Issa Diop and Declan Rice are two of the first names on the teamsheet. And Diangana has been a first team regular of late.

So Pellegrini should throw caution to the wind and give another surprise call-up to young striker Silva.

His pace and finishing could prove the perfect remedy in Arnautovic’s absence.