West Ham United youngster Nathan Holland has long been considered the next big thing to come out of the club’s famous academy.
At 21 years of age, though, we’ve surely got to start seeing some progress from the talented winger. You can’t be the next man up forever, at some point you need to fulfil your potential.
It certainly seems as if the Englishman is of that mindset, having started this season off in fantastic form for the Hammers’ Under-23 side. His progress was in evidence again on Friday night, as he scored a terrific goal for the young Irons in their 2-2 draw with their Manchester United counterparts.
That’s one goal and one assist from out wide for the U23s so far this campaign [Source: Transfermarkt], with Holland’s influence growing from game to game.
Terry Westley, West Ham’s academy manager up until this summer, predicted to Claret & Hugh that Holland would be the next Hammers youngster to make the step up from the youth team to the senior set up. That’s quite the endorsement from a figure in the know at Rush Green.
Clearly there are high hopes for the winger, but after a performance as scintillating as the one he produced against such quality opposition as the young Red Devils, he is surely now knocking on the door of a first team chance.
His goal was tremendous, a rip-roaring example of his quick feet and ability to drift in from out wide with devastating effect. After that, how much more does Manuel Pellegrini need to see?
The problem for Holland, of course, is the position he plays in. Currently in front of him in the attacking midfield pecking order at the London Stadium are: Felipe Anderson, Manuel Lanzini, Pablo Fornals, Andriy Yarmolenko, Michail Antonio – although now injured – and Robert Snodgrass.
It’s an intimidating group to break through, but Holland’s performances so far this season suggest that he is starting to present an overwhelming case to the West Ham boss.