Premier League

Opinion: Why West Ham prospect’s departure may leave the Irons short-changed

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West Ham may all but secured their Premier League status this weekend with a thrilling 3-1 win over Watford, but it is not all good news in East London. Highly rated prospect Benicio Baker-Boaitey appears set to depart West Ham’s youth ranks to join Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

The Englishman is just 16 years old but has reportedly been watched by some of the most elite clubs in Europe and the Premier League, including Liverpool, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain. But after rejecting a deal to remain with West Ham he could be following in the footsteps of compatriots Jadon Sancho and Jude Bellingham in an attempt to try and refine his development in the Bundesliga.

Much like the deal which saw Sancho head from Manchester City to Borussia Dortmund, any fee for Baker-Boaitey would be for his training compensation, which is why Dortmund only had to hand over £7m. Although, the Hammers would be due even less, which means they may get as little as £230k for the left winger if he were to agree terms with the 30-time Bundesliga winners.

Given the interest which the 16-year-old has garnered from clubs across the continent, he may have been worth a sizeable fee if the Hammers had been able to tie him down to a professional contract. However, instead, Baker-Boaitey will depart on the cheap if he does choose to go, which is frustrating news for Hammers fans.

Another unnamed Champions League side are reportedly battling Bayern for his signature, and it is believed the winger is currently deciding where his future lies. This week he will speak with his advisors to assess the best option for his career. He is thought to be assessing his options as to which potential suitor would be best for his career development.

It may be tough news to stomach, but unfortunately, it appears Baker-Boaitey is one West Ham prospect who will likely get away. In the past the Irons have been able to hold onto prodigies and make a tidy profit when they do eventually depart, Declan Rice could be the latest example as he has been imperious this season and attracted Chelsea’s interest.

But sadly, the 16-year-old winger may not net the Hammers any significant compensation or appear in front of fans at the London Stadium, leaving a bitter taste in the mouth of staff and supporters.

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