As David Gold has recently pointed out, our current academy is looking very promising.
After bringing through a number of high profile players such as Rio Ferdinand, Michael Carrick, Joe Cole, Frank Lampard and Jermain Defoe, West Ham developed a reputation as “The Academy of Football”.
However, that reputation has faded in the past decade as the Hammers have brought through very few first team quality players.
But this looks like it could be about to change.
The likes of Nathan Trott, Reece Burke, Reece Oxford, Declan Rice, Josh Cullen, Nathan Holland, Martin Samuelsen and Toni Martinez all look like they will be able to push for first team slots in the near future.
But the immediate future of Toni Martinez is an interesting one.
There has been much debate concerning what we should do with him for the upcoming 2017/18 campaign.
Last season, he struck a very impressive fourteen goals in fourteen games for the under-23 side and had a profitable loan spell at Oxford United.
He has played a large part in West Ham’s pre-season but he is not ready to be our main striker next season.
Some have called for him to be sent out on loan for another year in order to gain some valuable first team experience and I am usually all for that.
In my book, I’d rather have our youngsters playing week in week out in a competitive game than getting the odd minute here or there in our first team and then playing in the sheltered environment of under-23 football.
However, Martinez is an exception.
This kid has some real talent.
Here are three reasons why I believe that West Ham should keep the young Spaniard at the club next season…