Being a young footballer means possessing an awful lot of patience – especially when there are more experienced and talented players ahead of you in your hunt for first-team football.
As West Ham the likes of Declan Rice and Grady Diangana have proven that if you are good enough you will be given the chance by manager Manuel Pellegrini, the former establishing himself as one of the best breakthrough stars the Hammers have brought through the ranks in recent years.
With the summer holidays nearly over and pre-season on the horizon, this is the manager’s chance to get to have a closer look at some more promising starlets, running the rule over their abilities before the competitive campaign kicks off.
Football.London claim on their website that Marcus Browne and Nathan Holland are set to be two such youngsters who will be watched with intent, the former heading into the final year of his contract at east London, as Pellegrini plans to choose his next breakthrough talent.
With so much attacking quality already in the squad – Robert Snodgrass, Michail Antonio, Andriy Yarmolenko, Felipe Anderson and Manuel Lanzini joined by new arrival Pablo Fornals at Pellegrini’s disposal – the 21-year-old duo, who both play as wingers as well as possessing the ability to operate more centrally, face a real fight to make their mark – and it looks as though that battle could become a head-to-head fight.
The report states that the lack of squad places means loan spells could be on the cards and with Browne having recently returned from Oxford City, a spell in which he scored nine goals and notched five assists, he will be looking at cementing a first-team spot at West Ham.
Holland meanwhile is said to be very highly rated but he has just one senior appearance to his name, potentially casting doubt over whether he should move ahead of Browne in the pecking order.
Having two similar players at the same age will be causing Pellegrini and the coaching staff a headache – after all, there are only so many places in the side – and so the pair could be fighting against one another to stay in east London next season.