Former West Ham academy chief Terry Westley says that he is excited about the prospect of Nathan Holland making his first-team breakthrough as he compares the winger to Grady Diangana.
The Manchester-born 21-year-old has played just once for the senior side at the London Stadium, with a handful of unused substitute appearances during the 2018/19 campaign.
Having seen Diangana, who is the same age as Holland, emerge as a fringe figure for Manuel Pellegrini, Westley, who was in charge of the club’s youth talents during his time at the Hammers, says that the Chilean boss has a penchant for using young starlets and expects the rarely-seen wide man to make the step up soon.
He told Claret and Hugh: “The manager loves the freshness of youth which sees them doing what comes naturally dribbling at and taking on defences.
“But then they have to go to the next level – they have to go on and become Premier League disciplined. Nathan Holland is another like Grady and I’m looking forward to his breakthrough.”
With 17 Premier League appearances under his belt last season, Diangana looks to be one who Pellegrini will rely on again over the summer and heading into the new campaign. Unfortunately for Holland, that gives him another hurdle to overcome if he is to make a name for himself over the next 12 months. At 21-years-old, you expect to have more than just one first-team outing to your name and his lack of experience is going to do his case no good whatsoever when the manager is looking for options to make a difference. The Hammers have their sights set on bigger things than where they currently stand and if Holland is going to be a part of that he has got to lift his game quickly. Westley will know than most if Holland has got the ability and it seems as though the senior figure has faith in the youngster. Now it is time for the winger to live up to expectation and emerge as the next big thing in east London.