Xande Silva is set to be given a key role in Manuel Pellegrini’s plans at West Ham following the injury of Michail Antonio, according to Football Insider.
The 22-year-old Portuguese ace is currently sidelined after undergoing emergency bowel surgery over the summer, but the report claims that he will be fast-tracked into the senior side when he returns to action next month.
The news comes after it was announced that Antonio will be ruled out until at least the new year with a hamstring injury, as reported by Sky Sports.
This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise for the Hammers. Now that Antonio is out for the long term, and given the fact that Javier Hernandez has gone to Spain, Pellegrini looks fairly short of options up front. Sebastien Haller has started his career in England at a canter, but Albian Ajeti is unproven, and beyond that pairing, the Irons have nobody but Silva. The 22-year-old is also inexperienced, but he impressed during his brief spells in the side before his injury. Silva has 17 minutes in the Premier to his name, but during that brief spell, he registered two shots on goal, one key pass, and was dispossessed just once, as per Whoscored. It’s hard to get the measure of a player after just over a quarter of an hour, but there was more than enough promise to suggest that Silva has the ability and the potential to be a real asset for the Irons.