West Ham have two youngsters in action on Wednesday during the international break. Aji Alese and Harrison Ashby will represent England and Scotland respectively at U19 level.
Both players go into the break with different approaches. Alese needs to use his international matches to prove a point while Ashby is hoping to build on his strong start to the season.
Here, Hammers News takes a look at Alese and Ashby ahead of their games on Wednesday. What can both players expect and what do they need to do?
Alese has been selected in the England U19 squad for the trip to Marbella in the south of Spain. He will take part in the ‘Marbella International Cup’ with France and Belgium also taking part.
The opening game is tomorrow at 4 PM GMT. Alese will be hoping to make the starting line-up against France. He is one of seven defenders in the England U19 squad.
This game has another purpose for Alese. The 18-year-old is currently out on loan at Accrington Stanley but it has not been a successful spell so far. Alese has managed just one outing for the League One side – as a substitute against Sunderland.
John Coleman is not yet convinced that Alese is up to the standard required to make his starting line-up. This is why Alese will be desperate to impress for England U19s and earn a place in the Accrington side.
A few hours after Alese’s game, fellow academy defender Ashby will be in action. Scotland U19s have a home qualifying match against Belarus. The Scots are bidding to reach the U19 European Championships in Northern Ireland next year.
Ashby has had a terrific start to the season and he will be hoping to maintain his form. The 17-year-old has made the step up from the U18s to the U23s for West Ham this season with aplomb.
Predominantly a right-back, Ashby has also demonstrated his ability to operate in central defence. Scotland should beat Belarus and Ashby will be targeting a clean sheet and a continuation of his good form.