West Ham United have an exceptional record of developing exciting young talents into first-team regulars, with the likes of Frank Lampard, Rio Ferdinand, Michael Carrick, Mark Noble, Joe Cole, Declan Rice and Ben Johnson – to name but a few – having all graduated from the Academy of Football before making their mark within the Hammers’ senior squad.
This is a trend which does not look like slowing down any time soon, with the likes of Conor Coventry, Keenan Appiah-Forson, Harrison Ashby, Jamal Baptiste, Armstrong Oko-Flex, Emmanuel Longelo and Dan Chesters all currently knocking on the door for a place in David Moyes’ first team squad, either with the club’s under-21s or out on loan.
While all of the aforementioned players are incredibly exciting talents, there is one other gem who has particularly impressed for Mark Robson’s under-21 side so far this season in the shape of 19-year-old attacking midfielder Kamarai Swyer.
Indeed, the versatile youngster began to catch the eye over his 22 Premier League 2 appearances last term, scoring five goals and providing his teammates with four assists. This was done while operating from a number of different positions on the pitch, such as central midfield, attacking midfield, left-wing, right-wing and centre-forward.
The “clinical” teenager has continued this fine form over his six Premier League 2 outings so far this season, having already bagged two goals – the latest of which came in a 1-1 draw against Manchester United on Friday – also notching one goal in one EFL Trophy appearance, an impressive 1-0 victory over Walsall last month.
However, it is not simply the forward’s goals which are impressive, but also his composure with the ball at his feet and his ability to play defence-splitting passes.
These are traits which were on display in the under-18’s 5-0 FA Youth Cup victory over Norwich in March 2021, when Swyer picked up the ball in the middle of the park before taking on two Canaries midfielders and threading an inch-perfect ball through to Jayden Fevrier, who expertly finished for the Hammers’ third goal of the game.
The highlights from our 5-0 FA Youth Cup win over Norwich City U18s yesterday ⬇️
Goals from Mipo Odubeko (2), Jayden Fevrier, Jamal Baptiste sent us through to the last 16… pic.twitter.com/6oCs2zyAma
— West Ham United (@WestHam) March 23, 2021
Considering the fact that Moyes has called Swyer up to his first-team squad once already this season – with the attacker sitting on the bench for the Irons’ 3-0 Europa Conference League play-off second leg victory over Viborg – it would appear as if the 59-year-old is well aware of the talent that the 19-year-old possesses.
Indeed, should the Scot place his trust in the teenager on a more regular basis as the season goes on, he could well be rewarded with the unearthing of the club’s next home-grown diamond – a prospect which is sure to be an incredibly tantalising one for the London Stadium faithful.