Five West Ham prospects hoping to break through and save David Moyes millions in transfers

The West Ham Academy is well known for its conveyor belt of talent both for the Hammers first team and beyond.

Over the years, the academy has produced vast numbers of players who have gone on to great things in the game. From Mark Noble’s consistency and longevity to the promise of Declan Rice, via the serial title winners of Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard and Joe Cole among many others.

And it is not just in the Premier League where West Ham Academy graduates are earning a living in the game.

The lower leagues of English football and beyond are dotted with former Hammers with the likes of Grady Diangana (West Brom), Reece Oxford (FC Augsburg), Junior Stanislas (Bournemouth) and Freddie Sears (Colchester United) prime examples.

In the current first-team squad Noble and Rice are joined by Ben Johnson, now a weekly presence in the matchday squad, and Jamal Baptiste, who is set for his first season as a regular in David Moyes’ senior set-up.

Below the first team, there remains a fresh crop of talent on the fringes waiting for their own chance at the big time.

football.london takes a look at five prospects who are close to breaking into the senior set-up on a regular basis.

Jamal Baptiste

(centre-back)

As first reported by football.london the recently capped England U19 international has been named checked by Moyes this season as a player he wants involved in first-team training.

Prior to the arrival of Kurt Zouma, Moyes pointed to Baptiste as a player he saw as part of the senior squad despite just being 17-years-of-age.

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Baptiste has been selected in all three matchday squads so far this Premier League campaign but with the arrival of Zouma and Alex Kral is expected to feature more heavily for the U23 team than the first XI.

The defender made his first-team debut last season in a fourth-round FA Cup win over Doncaster Rovers and got his name on the scoresheet during pre-season.



Conor Coventry in action for West Ham during pre-season. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
Conor Coventry in action for West Ham during pre-season. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Conor Coventry

(centre-midfield)

Another who has already featured for the first team, Coventry is currently out on loan with Championship outfit Peterborough where Moyes and West Ham have high hopes for him.

The Republic of Ireland U21 captain could well be the long-term replacement for Mark Noble following his retirement at the end of the season.

The 21-year-old is set for an important season in his career, having yet to play regular senior football a year in the Championship could be the making of Coventry.

The hard-working midfielder caught the eye in pre-season and Moyes has been pleased with his efforts in training at the club.

Mipo Odubeko

(striker)

Like Coventry, Odubeko sealed a loan move to the Championship towards the end of the summer transfer window.

Prolific for the U23 side, Odubeko is being sent out to gain first-team experience and with a new West Ham contract recently signed there is hope he returns and becomes a first-team regular.

Odubeko’s academy record reads 27 goals in 27 competitive matches from U18 to U23 level with both Manchester United and West Ham. His time with Huddersfield Town will be an important stepping stone to a promising future.

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Armstrong Okoflex in action for West Ham during pre-season (Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images)
Armstrong Okoflex in action for West Ham during pre-season (Photo by Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images)

Armstrong Okoflex

(winger, centre-forward)

Okoflex has only recently joined West Ham following two years in Scotland with Celtic so cannot truly be claimed as a Hammers Academy graduate. But as a member of the U23 side and a highly promising one at that, he has made our list of ones to watch.

The young Irishman moved from his native Dublin to London aged 11 to link up with Arsenal before heading north of the border to sign with Celtic.

Aged 18, he made his senior debut for Celtic and went onto make two appearances before joining the Hammers this summer.

Okoflex was another Hammer who featured and starred during pre-season for Moyes’ team and the Irish U19 international will be hoping his time with the U23 team will be brief.

Three appearances in the Premier League 2 has brought three goals so far for Okoflex who can play on either wing as well as through the middle.

Harrison Ashby

(right-back)

Young Scottish U21 international Ashby has been earmarked for a spot in the first-team squad for some time.

Ashby made two senior appearances for the Hammers in last season’s Carabao Cup and is a regular in the Scottish age-group sides having represented his country at U17, U19 and U21 levels.

An attack-minded full-back, Ashby scored on his U21 international debut and has one goal and an assist in his four West Ham U23 appearances so far this season.

Ashby joined West Ham as a nine-year-old and there are high hopes at the club he could go on to become a first-team regular in the future.

Source by Football London

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