This article is part of Football FanCast’s Loan Watch series, which takes a closer look at those players who are aiming to galvanise their careers away from the spotlight of their parent club.
The 2019/20 campaign is turning out to be a monumental one for 18-year-old West Ham United centre-back Ajibola Alese.
He has taken his first steps into senior football, courtesy of a loan spell at Accrington Stanley, while he has also represented England at U19 level.
The recent international break saw the academy product make his third appearance at that level for his country, keeping his 100% win record going as he played the first half of a 4-0 victory over Luxembourg.
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Patience was required from the defender when he first arrived at Accrington Stanley.
His only appearance from the first five games he was available came in the form of a 28 minute substitute appearance in a 3-1 defeat against Sunderland, with all the goals being scored before he came on.
Though after a spell of four games on the bench, there are early signs that Alese is beginning to make strides at The Crown Ground as he looks to keep Accrington in League One.
The period started with a 23 minute substitute appearance in a 2-0 win against high-flyers Ipswich Town before the teenager went on to start three games in a row.
His latest league start, in a 0-0 draw against Coventry City, showed how indomitable he can be, as only Jerome Opoku got higher than the teenager’s WhoScored rating of 7.9.
This is representative of a performance that saw Alese win 4 aerial duels, as well as making 4 tackles, 8 clearances and 4 interceptions.
If he carries on producing performances like this, especially when it is his first season in senior football, this could turn out to be a monumental campaign for Alese.