Every week we’ll be asking West Ham fans on Twitter and Facebook for questions that will be answered by our editor, James Wood. You can join in by liking West Ham Zone on Facebook or following James on Twitter, and watching out for weekly mailbag posts.
West Ham have one of the best academy set-ups in the country and have had many graduates over the years go on to achieve so much in football.
Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, Jermaine Defoe and Michael Carrick all came through our ranks and won countless titles in their careers. Most recently we’ve had Declan Rice graduate from the academy to the first team and captain the side this season.
We asked for your burning questions about the Hammers this week for West Ham Zone editor James Wood to answer. One fan wanted to know who the next players to make the step-up will be.
West Ham are never short of talent in their youth ranks. There are a couple of youngsters catching the eye at the moment, but none more so than the Irishman Ademipo Odubeko. Mipo joined from Manchester United in October 2019 and has been on fire in the youth ranks this season. He’s played six times in the Premier League 2 division and scored eight goals.
Just last night, he scored a hattrick against his former club as the u23s won 3-2. The 18-year-old made his first-team debut in the FA Cup win against Stockport County. He came on and featured at Old Trafford later into the cup run also.
Moyes is a big fan of the youngster and has included him in the last seven Premier League matchday squads. His league debut looks only a matter of time away and could come sooner with the injury to Michail Antonio.
Another youngster the club’s expecting big things from is Conor Coventry. The 21-year-old was called up to the senior Irish squad for the World Cup qualifiers recently. Coventry is yet to play for the first team in the Premier League but is captain of the u23s.
He led the side to the Premier League 2 Division Two crown in the 2019/20 season. The young Hammers were undefeated in the season, playing 18 matches and winning 14, whilst scoring 58 goals.
Lastly, a lot is being said about Keenan Appiah-Forson. The 19-year-old has been with the Hammers for five years, and has drawn comparisons to N’Golo Kante for his work rate and ability.
As reported by The Athletic, Terry Westley believes he will be the next to take his opportunity. Westley is responsible for developing Rice, Reece Oxford, Grady Diagana and Ben Johnson most recently. Regarding Appiah-Forson, he said: “Keenan has a lot of potential and it’s great that young players are getting an opportunity at West Ham under David Moyes. Keenan could be next.”
In other West Ham news, the Hammers could move for this midfielder who is tipped to be ‘world-class.