West Ham United co-chairman David Gold has admitted that the club’s youth players are unlikely to break into the first team in the coming season.
West Ham are looking to improve considerably in the summer transfer market after a poor season under Slaven Bilic, and Gold expects their side to be one full of “seasoned internationals”.
Promising youth players such as Reece Oxford and Josh Cullen have been shipped out on loan this season and Gold was forced to respond to fan complaints after celebrating Cullen’s part in the League One playoff final with Bradford City.
I think we all have to except that it is extremely unlikely that a teenager will break into a PL team full of seasoned international. dg https://t.co/R0c1SimdVr
— David Gold (@davidgold) May 20, 2017
He said on Twitter: “I think we all have to (accept) that it is extremely unlikely that a teenager will break into a (Premier League) team full of seasoned international(s).
“Playing teenagers doesn’t guarantee success. Hull came fifth (in number of youngsters played) and got relegated. Chelsea came last and won the league.
“Sam (Allardyce) played the teenagers at Nottingham Forest (in 2014) and we got beat 5-0. Teenagers gain experience by going out on loan to the first (or) second division and the Championship.”
West Ham’s academy has provided dozens of players who became fully-fledged internationals over the years, including England stars Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, Joe Cole, Jermain Defoe, Michael Carrickand Glen Johnson.