Sebastien Haller’s sudden departure to Ajax last week has left West Ham without a back-up striker for the talismanic, yet injury-prone, Michail Antonio.
The club is reported to be scoping out several different options in the transfer market to get a striker on board this January. Rumours have included Olivier Giroud, Marko Arnautovic, Josh King and Adam Hlozek. [EXWHUemployee]
However, reports from The Athletic’s Roshane Thomas, alongside Moyes’ team selection for the FA Cup tie against Stockport may reveal that the answer to the issue is already at the club.
As part of a series where The Athletic’s club correspondents were asked to reveal who from their club people should keep an eye on, Thomas chose Ademipo Odubeko (Mipo) for West Ham, an 18-year-old striker.
“The West Ham United faithful love seeing young players come through the ranks and for a club with a proven record of helping young talent to blossom, another star could be emerging in Ademipo Odubeko.” wrote Thomas.
After scoring an abundance of goals for the u18s last season, it was then reported by Thomas that after Haller’s exit, Odubeko had been training with the first team.
— Roshane Thomas (@RoshaneSport) January 7, 2021
Just days on from this report, we learnt that Odubeko had made his way to the first-team bench for the away FA Cup tie against Stockport FC, and even bagged himself some minutes at the end of the game.
With an exciting young prospect lurking, known for scoring goals, Moyes’ search for a striker could be cut short.
After all, there are other positions in which West Ham arguably require more depth. There is no ‘like for like’ replacement for Arthur Masuaku at left-back, who helps facilitate the proven ‘three at the back’ system and Mark Noble is the only cover for Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek in midfield.
It is likely that West Ham won’t have signed a striker by Sunday’s game against Burnley, so we can expect to see Mipo on the bench and perhaps even on the pitch.
If he impresses, maybe Moyes’ can change tack in the transfer market and secure stability in the defence or midfield.
In other West Ham news, Ogbonna showed off his defensive might in the 1-0 win against Stockport on Monday.