Just this week, we bought Doneil Henry, but there are defenders coming out of the academy like Reece Burke, he has been on the bench regularly for the first-team, and during pre-season played against Sampdoria and scored the winner. Sam Allardyce clearly wants to give the youth players a chance, but when the talent dries up and we have to look into buying young players from farther afield, issues will arise.
Also Reece Oxford, captain of the England U17 side, signed his first professional contract this week, warding off interest from the likes of Manchester United, who expressed an interest in signing our bright young centre-back. But now that West Ham have tied him down to a long-term professional contract, we will have some promising young talent to look to when we make the big step up into the Olympic Stadium.
Over the last couple of years, West Ham have resorted to buying young talent, we bought Ravel Morrison, which didn’t work out, last year we were rejecting offers from Fulham of £4 million, now, our owners have decided were willing to let him leave for nothing, even though we paid £650,000 as a raw young talent who needed grounding – it looked like it was a good move at the time.
In hindsight, we could’ve got a nice amount of money being a “selling club” like we are. The only significant moment I can remember in Ravel Morrison’s West Ham career up until now was his run and finish in our 3-0 win over Spurs last season. Other than that he has just caused problems and tarnished our reputation. Morrison’s off-the-field antics have become a major problem for us, Allardyce has cast him out, probably in hope that a club will come and take him off of our hands. He has been getting into trouble repeatedly and been to court for abusing his girlfriend and her mother.
West Ham need to put their focus back into the youth academy as we have spent a lot of money recently, we should try and grow our own talent, to save money and be more self satisfied – look at Southampton they have produced real talent recently but haven’t had the resolve to hold onto their players, like Theo Walcott, Gareth Bale and Luke Shaw.
That is what West Ham should strive to be, but make sure they keep the talent that will push them up the Premier League table and challenging at the top end consistently.