The January transfer window saw various West Ham youngsters leave, with Anthony Scully and Joe Powell permanently joining Lincoln City and Burton Albion respectively.
In addition to that, Nathan Holland and Dan Kemp joined Oxford United and Stevenage on loan for the rest of this season.
While this is an encouraging sign for their development as players, it can be seen as a blow for the Hammers’ U23s, as they continue their pursuit of the Premier League 2 Division 2 title.
One other player who will likely be missed is Conor Coventry, who joined Lincoln on loan, but the burden of this short-term departure can potentially help Alfie Lewis.
The 20-year-old has been playing alongside Coventry for the majority of the season, making 17 appearances across PL2 and the EFL Trophy, scoring five goals and adding two assists – a pretty impressive return for someone operating in midfield.
He may not have stolen the limelight from his big-name U23s colleagues, but Lewis has certainly given a good account of himself.
The 20-year-old has caught the eye of The Athletic journalist Roshane Thomas, as he explained to Football FanCast: “He’s a good player and has perhaps not been given the credit he deserves with Dan Kemp, Anthony Scully, Nathan Holland and Conor Coventry often receiving praise. Barring Scully who was sold to Lincoln City, the rest are all out on loan now so this should give Lewis a great chance to become the main man in the team.
“Pretty sure he’s scored five goals in PL2 this season which is good. He’s a nice tidy player, that’s always my biggest takeaway when I watch him play. He never complicates things. He’s 20 now so he’s another player who could do with a loan spell.”
A loan may be in the offing in the future, but for now, Lewis has the opportunity to thrive in Dmitri Halajko’s midfield and become the U23s’ key man.
Meanwhile, one West Ham youngster has been making waves.