5 West Ham Youngsters Set to Wow Julen Lopetegui in Pre-Season

5 west ham youngsters set to wow julen lopetegui in pre-season

5 West Ham Youngsters Set to Wow Julen Lopetegui in Pre-Season

  • West Ham have a new manager, as Julen Lopetegui replaces David Moyes for the 2024/25 season.
  • Lopetegui is likely to have a busy summer shaking up his squad, with players expected to move on and new signings arriving.
  • The West Ham academy has produced top quality young players in the past, and has more great talent rising through the ranks right now.

West Ham United will have a new manager for the 2024/25 campaign, with David Moyes departing the club after seven years in charge. Julen Lopetegui is coming in to shake things up at the East London outfit, and he will be looking to put his own stamp on a squad that many believe hit their ceiling under Moyes.

The club has already made its first signing of the summer, with Brazilian wonderkid Luis Guilherme arriving from Palmeiras on July 1st. Goalkeeper Wes Foderingham is also set to join the Hammers on a free transfer from recently relegated Sheffield United.

Still, with a number of players departing at the end of their contracts, and Lopetegui likely to make others available for transfer, there will be space in his squad for more new players as the summer progresses. And, as with any club, there's always the chance that youngsters could step up and grab first-team opportunities by impressing the new boss.

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The West Ham academy is famed for producing some of the best English players of all time, including Frank Lampard, Rio Ferdinand, and Joe Cole. With that said, here are those from the current crop of promising young West Ham players who look ready to make that jump to the senior side and impress in pre-season.

Kaelan Casey

Under-21 skipper could be ready for more

It's not always a given, but whenever a player captains the Under-21 side, you'd expect them to take that next step and mix it with the senior squad relatively soon. 19-year-old Kaelan Casey was the skipper for the Hammers' youth team in 2023/24, making 25 appearances for the Premier League 2 runners-up, registering two goals and one assist from centre-half.

The defender is composed on the ball, has the physicality required to play at senior level, and obviously has the maturity to fit in on the big stage. He made his debut for the West Ham first-team in the Europa Conference League in the 2022/23 season, before making his Premier League debut in the penultimate match of last season, albeit as a last-minute substitute against Luton. He was also named on the bench a further 13 times last term.

Kaelan Casey senior career stats

Appearances

2

Goals

0

Assists

0

George Earthy

Midfielder already has his first senior goal for the Hammers

Not only did George Earthy have a fantastic season for the Under-21 squad last term, bagging 13 goals and ten assists in 27 appearances for the development side, but the young midfielder even managed to score his first senior goal for the Hammers in the win over Luton at the end of the season.

West Ham already have a pretty strong roster in the middle of the park, but with Lucas Paqueta potentially facing a ban for alleged gambling offences, there could be a spot opening up in the first-team squad for the forthcoming season. If West Ham would rather keep the budget tight, promoting Earthy would be a shrewd move.

George Earthy senior career stats

Appearances

4

Goals

1

Assists

0

Divin Mubama

Striker on the fringes of the first-team already

This promising striker is the most experienced youngster on the list when it comes to top-flight action, and he already has 12 first-team appearances under his belt from last season, including game time in the Europa League. In 2022/23, he managed to bag his first senior goal, too, getting on the scoresheet in the 4-0 win over AEK Larnaca.

So, it feels like a no-brainer that Mubama will be given more opportunities in the first-team in the coming season, even despite the change of manager. With Michail Antonio nearing the end of his contract, there's space for a powerful new striker to fill his boots. Mubama could, and should, be given that chance.

Divin Mubama senior career stats

Appearances

18

Goals

1

Assists

1

Freddie Potts

Gained valuable experience in League One last season

This promising midfielder actually made his senior debut for West Ham way back in 2021, picking up three minutes of action in the Europa League. He followed that up with two substitute appearances in the 2022/23 campaign, but it was last season that his career really took off, with a highly successful loan spell at League One outfit Wycombe Wanderers.

43 games, two goals, and two assists for a 20-year-old playing his first full season at senior level is some achievement. Potts will likely go out on loan again in the coming season, but we should see him feature throughout pre-season until that move is secured. It also doesn't harm his chances that his dad, Steve, is a Hammers icon, having spent 17 years playing for the club, before moving into coaching at various youth levels at the club.

Freddie Potts senior career stats

Appearances

46

Goals

2

Assists

2

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Luizao

Brazilian defender is ready to step up

Luizao was signed on a free transfer from his boyhood club, Sao Paulo, in January 2023, but he's still yet to make his senior debut for West Ham. However, the Brazilian defender has been a regular for the Under-21 side over the last 18 months. Now, at the age of 22, it's pretty much make-or-break time for Luizao: he either steps up to the first team, or moves on in some way, shape, or form.

A loan spell is a possibility, but with Kurt Zouma believed to be surplus to requirements at West Ham now (per TEAMtalk), we could see Luizao drafted in to fill the void at the back.

Luizao senior career stats

Appearances

20

Goals

1

Assists

0

GIVEMESPORT Key Statistic: Rio Ferdinand is still West Ham's youngest ever goalscorer to this day. He was 18 years and 86 days old when he scored in a 2-1 defeat against Blackburn Rovers, way back in February 1997.

Stats via Transfermarkt (as of 16/06/1995).

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