There is a tendency amongst fans and the media to overhype young players.
As soon as a youngster breaks out onto the scene and starts tearing things up, the automatic reaction is to start asking how many Ballon d’Ors they are going to go on and win. That might be a little facetious, but you get the point.
As such, words like “wonder kid” and “sensation” are thrown about willy-nilly by those who should know better, but every now and again, you come across a player who may actually justify a tag like that.
Take French starlet Alexis Claude-Maurice. At just 20 years old, he has hit 14 goals in 35 Ligue 2 matches for FC Lorient this term, and has been described by French outlet Soccer Link as a “revelation”.
Even more exciting for West Ham fans, however, will be the fact that they are touted as one of the sides who are “most invested” in the youngster.
The report suggests that a host of big teams – RB Leipzig, Lyon, LOSC Lille, AS Monaco and Paris Saint Germain – are all interested, but that the Hammers are particularly keen, alongside Arsenal.
The Gunners are said to have had a £7.9 million bid rejected already, while no mention is made of a concrete approach from the Irons.
They should pull their finger out and tie up a deal as soon as possible though.
To score 14 goals in any campaign at the age of 20 is impressive, but to do it from the left wing, where Claude-Maurice predominantly operates is something else entirely.
If Manuel Pellegrini has any sense, he’ll made sure that the youngster ends up in claret and blue.