ExWHUEmployee has revealed that one academy player is set to start for West Ham United against Oxford United in their Carabao Cup tie on Wednesday evening, though he hasn’t named who that will be.
This wasn’t the case in the Hammers’ first Carabao Cup game of the season, the 2-0 win against Newport County, with summer signings Albian Ajeti and Issa Diop the youngest to start that game, with both being 22-years-old, as per Transfermarkt.
There are three candidates who are most likely to take their place in the starting line up: Conor Coventry, Nathan Holland and Ben Johnson.
Coventry was the only academy player to get on the pitch during the previous Carabao Cup victory, replacing Jack Wilshere in the 82nd minute, completing all 13 of his attempted passes, making 1 tackle and 1 clearance, as per SofaScore.
Holland hasn’t played a first-team game for West Ham after coming on for the last 28 minutes of a 3-0 Carabao Cup win against Bolton Wanderers in 2017.
The 21-year-old has impressed for the U23s this season, though, having scored eye-catching goals against Valencia B and Brentford B, leading many fans to call for him to get a chance in Manuel Pellegrini’s side.
Johnson has also only made one first-team appearance for the Hammers, which came in the form of 63 minutes against Manchester City last season, in which he gave a good account of himself, making 1 tackle, 1 interception and 3 clearances, as per WhoScored.
It will be encouraging to see that an academy player will be given their opportunity to impress against Oxford, while it is also good to see that the manager is taking the game seriously by not throwing various new names in at once.
Holland could be the player to come in for the match, with his performances for the U23s and injuries to Michail Antonio and Manuel Lanzini pointing towards the 21-year-old getting on the pitch.
West Ham fans, what youngster do you want to see start? Join the discussion by commenting below…
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