Long-term West Ham target Charlie Kelman would have had Hammers scouts out of their seats with last night’s performance. Kelman bagged a brace for Southend United to further add to his burgeoning reputation.
Kelman burst onto the scene last season when he scored on his debut from his own half. The 17-year-old had scored over 60 goals in one season at youth level to earn his chance in the first-team.
Since his debut goal in January 2019, Kelman has been in and out of the Southend team. The talented teenager has now played 12 games for the Shrimpers, including 10 in League One.
Charlie Kelman scores twice in the EFL Cup
After being left out of the first two games of this season, Kelman staked his claim in the EFL Cup. Southend had a tricky away tie against Stevenage, who are in the league below.
At half-time, Stevenage led 1-0 through Dean Parrett. But Kelman turned things around after half-time. On 47 minutes, the USA U18 international headed in an equaliser before lashing in a second in the 55th minute.
The last time Southend won in the EFL Cup was back in 2010 when Kelman was just eight. Now, he is the hero and scouts would have been impressed with what they saw.
Charlie Kelman: Where would he fit in at West Ham?
Kelman has been linked with a move to West Ham ever since breaking into the Southend first-team. According to HITC Sport, West Ham are interested in Kelman alongside Bournemouth, Brighton and Aston Villa.
If West Ham did sign the Essex-born teenager, he would only be moving down the road. It would probably be easier for him to fit in without having to deracinate and relocate. But he would not be in the first-team at West Ham – yet.
West Ham need a new youth team striker after the departures of Toni Martinez and Jahmal Hector-Ingram. Xande Silva has spent a lot of time out injured, leaving Oladapo Afolayan and Sean Adarkwa as the only two striker options in the academy.
Kelman has been prolific at youth level for Southend and could slot right in with the U23 team. If he picks West Ham over his other options, then his task will be scoring enough goals to get first-team recognition.