The attacking area of the pitch is probably West Ham United’s shallowest at the moment, so it doesn’t necessarily follow to be talking about loaning out a Hammers striker.
However, that’s absolutely what manager Manuel Pellegrini needs to do with young forward Xande Silva. The Portuguese arrived in east London last summer to much fanfare and hit the ground running with an early hat-trick for the Under-23s.
Injuries disrupted his progress somewhat over the course of the season, although he did make his maiden first team start against Birmingham City in the FA Cup and his Premier League debut off the bench against Burnley.
Football London claimed recently that the 22-year-old could be one of the youngsters loaned out by the Hammers next term, and that would be the ideal next step in his development.
Having said that, Pellegrini must only sanction Silva’s departure on the condition that he’s able to bring in an attacker or two to fill his space in the squad.
If the Mexican departs then that would leave Pellegrini with just Marko Arnautovic as a senior frontman, with Silva backing him up. You can see why, then, that it’s imperative that the Hammers recruit extra attackers before allowing the youngster out the London Stadium exit door.
It would be too much to ask Silva to make the step up to regular first team contention just yet, and a loan spell away would be much better for his development. A period with a Championship team or a top League One outfit could be just what the doctor ordered for the attacker.