Name: Jeremy Ngakia
Club: West Ham United
Date of Birth: 7 September 2000
Position: Defender (Right-back/Centre-back), Wide midfielder, Winger
Jeremy Ngakia – his career so far
Ever since he joined the West Ham United academy aged only 14, the incredibly talented Jeremy Ngakia has been advancing through the ranks rapidly, establishing himself as a key component of all the squads he played for during that time. But interestingly enough, before joining the Hammers, the Deptford-born Ngakia had a trial with Chelsea’s academy but after being scouted by West Ham academy goalkeeping coach Jerome John whilst playing for Surrey Quays-based youth club Ballers Football Academy, the Irons swooped in and got his signature.
Of course, this would, in time, prove to be a smart move both by the outfit and the young player himself who ended up progressing quite nicely and adding flair, skill and attacking prowess to the Hammers’ academy throughout the years.
Having advanced through the youth ranks rather quickly, Ngakia made his U18 debut in the 2016/17 season and then made another 16 appearances in the campaign as a schoolboy, also signing his first scholarship papers that very same summer.
The young full-back ended up tallying a total of 36 appearances for the U18s before making a step up into the U23 squad and making his grand debut in February 2018 against Tottenham Hotspur. Since then, he could muster a total of 20 games with two assists under his belt in the process as well.
Even though 2018/19 didn’t really start as he would have wanted it, considering he suffered a foot injury that sidelined him for a while, he recovered well, returning to still play a big part for West Ham United’s campaign.
In 2019/20, however, he finally got his big break, making his senior team debut in a 2-0 loss to Liverpool in January. Since then, he featured three more times, all in the Premier League, but the recent outbreak that put football on hold meant his rise would temporarily be stopped.
Needless to say, big things are expected from him in the immediate future and Ngakia looks ready to take the challenge head-on and win.
According to some of the latest transfer rumours surrounding Ngakia, the 19-year-old full-back could be in line for a brand new contract at the club. Of course, given his recent rise and incredible talent, this is definitely some excellent West Ham news if it turns out to be true.
Ngakia is young and bound to become even better and the recent praise he’s been getting on all fronts certainly proves as much. Seeing him get a new contract would be just a further testament to the importance he holds for the Hammers’ immediate and long-term future.
Of course, with the summer transfer window approaching rapidly and West Ham struggling to stay afloat in the Premier League amidst Ngakia’s emergence, we shouldn’t disregard the option of transfer rumours slowly but surely entering the picture. The Hammers should definitely stay on their toes.
Ngakia looks set to become the perfect modern full-back, capable of helping his team in all phases of play with equal proficiency. Being a defender first and foremost, however, the youngster will have to work on his positioning, decision-making and marking abilities.
That doesn’t mean he’s necessarily not good enough in those aspects but he is very much an attacking-minded full-back who can boast with a great technique, excellent first touch and an abundance of pace when going forward.
When we combine that with his exceptional work rate and enough power to win duels, Ngakia already has the makings of a well-rounded player despite his young age. The foundations for the future are there but it will be up to West Ham to groom him properly to ensure he reaches his full potential.
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