By Sam Stone

21st Sep, 2022 | 7:06am

West Ham must walk away from want-away defender Harrison Ashby

Harrison Ashby is “refusing” to sign a new West Ham United deal – and the Hammers must now walk away from negotiations with the 20-year-old.

Claret and Hugh had revealed (5 September) that there was a chance that he could turn down new terms at the London Stadium.

The reliable Hammers source has since suggested (20 September) that the Scotland under-21s international is now firmly against committing his long-term future to the club.

With an exit very much on the cards for Ashby, the Hammers must ensure that they don’t push the boat out in an attempt to keep the young defender at the club. He is clearly a player who has been influenced by his agent and potentially the clubs that are interested in his services.

The whole Ashby situation feels very similar to Sonny Perkins’ eventual move to Leeds United, with the 18-year-old reluctant to commit his future to the club that was so vital in his development.

Losing quality young players from their illustrious academy system is always going to ruffle a few feathers and it’s a bad look for the club going forward. More needs to be done to ensure the Hammers’ best young talent isn’t poached by direct Premier League rivals.

As bad as it seems, David Moyes should now be reluctant to give Ashby any first-team experience with his future at the club now in doubt. West Ham shouldn’t use their first team and academy to help improve players that will eventually end up elsewhere.

This is another saga that the board at the London Stadium must learn from