West Ham United youngster Joe Powell has been sold to Burton Albion for an undisclosed fee, as reported by the club’s official channels.
It has been suggested by Football Insider that the price was less than £100,000, as the Hammers were keen to avoid losing him without getting anything at all in the summer.
This departure is seriously underwhelming considering the promise that the 21-year-old has shown in the past.
He has only made one first-team appearance for the club when he came on in the 62nd minute of an 8-0 Carabao Cup win against Macclesfield Town last season. However, he took his opportunity to impress on the day, providing two assists for fellow academy graduate Grady Diangana.
The midfielder went to Northampton Town for the second half of that campaign, making a total of 10 appearances, scoring one goal and registering a solitary assist.
After a superb strike against Newport County, David Buchanan showed how impressed he was by the youngster, telling The Northampton Chronicle & Echo: “I’m not sure the goal deserved to be in that game because it was different class but he’s got that technique.
“He’s a young lad from West Ham learning his way and he’s come in, got his head down and integrated with the group fantastically well.”
Following that stint, he returned to the U23s, making 16 appearances across Premier League 2 and the EFL Trophy, scoring six goals and recording a further three assists.
However, having not been given a sniff of first-team action, he is leaving with the club getting very little in return for a player who could turn out to be a real talent.
This can be seen as a warning shot for the Hammers as they bid to make the most of what is a talented group of U23s players, who have gone unbeaten in their 15 league games this campaign.
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Nathan Holland and Conor Coventry have both gone out on loan for the remainder of the campaign, heading to Oxford United and Lincoln City respectively, while Dan Kemp has reportedly been pleading for a temporary move of his own.
While this can be beneficial, David Moyes must ensure there is a route to the first-team for these exciting youngsters, otherwise, there is a risk of more scenarios like Powell’s.
It can be suggested that there were signs of that against Sheffield United, with Bernardo Rosa and Jeremy Ngakia featuring on the bench, but he needs to build on that further.