There’s no question that the story for West Ham this season has been the emergence of academy star Declan Rice.
The now England international has nailed down a starting XI spot in the Hammers team and asserted himself as one of Europe’s top midfield prospects, and now clubs up and down the country are eager to see their own youth stars burst into the first-team star.
Rice’s rise has been an inspiration to many in England, and West Ham could have yet another academy star come through the ranks and into the first-team next season in the form of Joe Powell.
The midfielder recently signed a new contract with the Hammers, keeping him at the club until 2020 after an impressive season in both the U-23 side and out on loan with Northampton Town, where Powell scored nine goals and nine assists in 23 appearances across both teams.
The news of Powell’s contract extension could mean that Manuel Pellegrini is ready to offer the 20-year-old first-team chances next season, which could be a realistic chance.
West Ham are in need of a creative spark in the starting XI, and given the midfielder’s impact with the youth team and in the Football League, the number 10 could be a wildcard for the Hammers next season.
Rice’s impact on West Ham has sent a ripple effect through the team to benefit youth players, and Powell could be next in line to benefit from the use of Pellegrini turning to youth.
West Ham fans, should Pellegrini give Powell a chance next season? Let us know!