By Peter Lynch

14th Mar, 2023 | 9:10pm

West Ham Academy goalkeeper Krisztián Hegyi handed senior Hungary call-up

West Ham under-21s goalkeeper Krisztián Hegyi has been called up to the Hungary international senior squad for the very first time, as confirmed by the club’s website.

The 19-year-old played for his country’s under-21s in a defeat against Denmark in November, but will now link up with the senior squad later this month.

Hungary play Estonia in a friendly encounter on 23 March, before taking on Bulgaria in Euro 2024 qualifying four days later. Both games will take place at the Puskás Aréna Park in Budapest.

Hegyi is one of three goalkeepers called up, with the teenager joining Ferencvárosi TC’s Dénes Dibusz and Zalaegerszegi TE’s Patrik Demjén in Marco Rossi’s squad.

“Everyone at West Ham United congratulates Krisztián on his first senior international call-up,” a statement from the Hammers read.

Major moment for West Ham teenager

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Budapest-born Hegyi currently captains West Ham under-21s. But he has been named in many of David Moyes’s recent first-team matchday squads, most notably in the Europa Conference League.

Such opportunities have come amid an eye injury to Lukasz Fabianski, with Alphonse Areola the man currently entrusted between the sticks.

West Ham have needed a large squad in order to compete in the Premier League and in Europe this season, with the east London outfit finding much more success in the latter so far.

Hegyi may not see much action on the pitch for his country later this month, but it is certainly a proud moment for the youngster, who has represented Hungary since under-16s level.

The goalkeeper and his compatriots will like their chances of a strong Euro 2024 qualifying campaign, having been drawn in Group G alongside Serbia, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Montenegro.

Hungary will be looking to build on a strong 2022/23 Nations League campaign, where they finished second in a hugely tricky group involving Italy, Germany and England.