West Ham youngster Nathan Holland has been spotted training with the first team ahead of their clash with Manchester United as the winger looks to make his first senior appearance of the season.
As spotted by the eagle eyed Sam Inkersole on his personal Twitter account, in a photo focusing on the return of Carlos Sanchez to first team training, the 20-year-old was captured in the background as the squad were put through their paces.
With just one outing for the Hammers’ first team after coming through the youth system, Holland looks on course to be the next breakthrough talent this season, but Manuel Pellegrini needs to be unleashing the young prospect sooner rather than later.
Why is he with the first team?
Put simply, he looks to be one of the most exciting talents the Hammers’ under-23s have on their books right now and with Samir Nasri out of the picture right now due to injury, it seems Pellegrini is willing to give him his chance to impress in training.
Grady Diangana was given a similar opportunity, picking up some important first team minutes to boost his development and with the season coming to an end, handing Holland the same chance to impress would go a long way to boosting his potential at this stage of his career.
Also, the Irons have looked lacklustre in attack, with a distinct lack of cutting edge in recent games, and perhaps the hope is that Holland could provide a much needed injection of energy to ensure their campaign does not come to a stuttering stop.
What should Pellegrini do?
He might only be 20-years-old but with little to play for between now and the end of the season, the manager must unleash the youngster in the senior side and see what he can bring to the table.
Fast, direct and with a fearless attitude, he is the exact sort of player who can bring a little bit of life to a dull West Ham attack.
Felipe Anderson has been nothing special in recent weeks and so to have the young talent breathing down his neck should give him the kick up the backside he needs to realise he cannot rest on his laurels.
If nothing else, it gives the West Ham faithful a new homegrown starlet to enjoy, someone who will get them out of their seats and cheering their side on.