Francis Benali revealed he was impressed by West Ham youngster Conor Coventry after witnessing his cameo outing in the 2-0 win against Newport County on Tuesday.
The Sky Sports pundit, as per his official website, made his debut on the broadcaster’s Soccer Special show when covering the Hammers’ League Cup clash with Newport.
Benali when summing up the Hammers’ display against Newport, took a moment to say that Coventry looked good against the League Two side after being brought on to replace Jack Wilshere in the 82nd minute.
“It was an opportunity to get young Conor Coventry on as well (subbing Jack Wilshere) for a little bit of experience as well, who looked quite good,” said Benali on Sky Sports Soccer Special (Sky Sports Football, 21:37, Tuesday, August 27th).
Coventry was only given a handful of minutes to show what he could do on Tuesday, and he showed glimpses of his ability. However, while it sounds harsh, the 19-year-old’s most memorable moment was when he was naively robbed of the ball just outside the Hammers’ area. While Newport didn’t make the most of winning possession in a dangerous position, in that moment, Coventry’s lack of experience stood out. Yet aside from that, given that Coventry managed to get on the ball 17 times, despite his brief cameo, and maintained a 100% pass completion rate across the 13 passes he attempted, maybe Benali just wanted to focus on the positives (Source: WhoScored). The teenager has been a regular in the Hammers’ U-23s side in recent seasons, he has racked up 38 outings for them (Source: Transfermarkt), and given that he featured against Newport, it’ll be interesting to see if Manuel Pellegrini opts to not loan him out and start to utilise him in first-team games instead in the coming weeks instead.