It’s been a difficult season for West Ham and their fans as they surprisingly find themselves in a relegation battle. With Manuel Pellegrini gone and now David Moyes returning to the club, things have improved in recent weeks however.
And with changes afoot at the club, here are six young players that could break into the senior squad in 2020.
A cousin of former England international Ledley King, Ben Johnson joined West Ham when he was just seven years old. At 19 years old he has already made his Premier League debut for the Hammers, in February last year, when he started at left back in a 1-0 defeat away to champions Manchester City. However, that has been his only league game to date.
Capable of playing as a left or right back, Johnson must fancy his chances of breaking into the side this year, especially with Pablo Zabaleta limping towards retirement.
After racking up just 15 appearances for Boavista in Portugal, centre back Goncalo Cardozo signed a five-year contract at West Ham in August 2019. So far the 19-year-old has yet to feature for the senior team but with West Ham currently leaking goals at the back, Moyes may begin to turn to youth earlier than expected.
At 6'2, strong and likely still growing, Cardozo may need some time to develop into a Premier League centre back, but all the early signs suggest that he can.
Another player brought in from Portugal, forward Xande Silva joined the Hammers from Vitoria Guimaraes in 2018. He has made just the one Premier League appearance to date, but is expected to find his way into Moyes' plans sooner rather than later.
Although, not a prolific scorer in Portugal, Silva may be able to offer West Ham something different. West Ham have so far struggled when Haller has been played up front alone but Silva could play well alongside the big Frenchman.
Winger Nathan Holland has so far only made two appearances for the Hammers this season and looks likely to head on loan to League One for the rest of the season.
Supposedly deemed too ‘lightweight’ by the West Ham coaching staff, Holland will hope regular playing time in the competitive League One will be just enough to give him the strength and experience to press for a place in the Hammers' first team in 2020.
Despite being highly rated, featuring 10 times for Republic of Ireland Under-21s and winning Academy Player of the season in 2018, Conor Coventry has only featured twice for the senior team. With the likes of Declan Rice coming through at the same time, Coventry has found it difficult to force his way into the squad.
Although only 19, the central midfielder will certainly consider 2020 as a chance for his breakout year, especially after signing a new long term deal at the London Stadium last week.
Grady Diangana made 17 appearances for West Ham in the league last season despite being just 20 years old, so it was a surprise to see him sent on loan to West Bromwich Albion at the beginning of the season. However, it may be for the best as he has absolutely flourished in the Championship.
With five goals and six assists in 19 games, mostly from right wing, West Ham may be regretting that decision. Expect him to come back and make a real impact in the second half of 2020.
Source : 90min