West Ham have been drawn against Cheltenham Town, Exeter City and Newport County in the EFL Trophy group stages.
The competition is seen as a great opportunity for young players to get experience against Football League teams, which could stand them in good stead to make the step up to first-team football.
Here are four examples of players who could thrive in the tournament for West Ham this season…
With Nathan Trott heading out on loan to AFC Wimbledon, Joseph Anang is now West Ham’s main youth goalkeeper.
This means the 19-year-old is likely to get plenty of action in the EFL Trophy, having played once last season. This is an opportunity for him to get a loan move the following campaign or try to jump ahead of the Hammers’ two main back up goalkeepers.
Conor Coventry played one game in this competition last season, but will likely have a much larger role this campaign.
Fresh off the back of helping Republic of Ireland U21s reach the Toulon Tournament semi-final for the first time in their history, the 19-year-old will be eager to build on his first-team debut against Macclesfield Town last season and force his way into Manuel Pellegrini’s plans.
Arguably one of the most talented players in West Ham’s academy at the moment, Nathan Holland can’t be too far from Manuel Pellegrini’s thinking.
However, it will be tough for the 21-year-old to persuade the manager he deserves a first-team opportunity due to the level of competition in his favoured positions, but the EFL Trophy could be among the best chances he’ll get.
There was plenty of excitement when Mesaque Djú signed for West Ham, so there will likely be an eagerness to see him test himself against Football League opposition.
He had a disappointing U20 World Cup, so will be keen to get back on the pitch for his club, having netted one goal in five outings for the U21s last season.