This article is part of Football FanCast’s In The Pipeline series, which takes a look at some of the most promising young talent either linked with clubs or emerging from their academies…
West Ham United goalkeeper Roberto has struggled while filling in for Lukasz Fabianski during the Poland international’s absence through injury.
This can be highlighted by his performance against Newcastle United, a game in which he looked nothing short of calamitous for the Magpies’ second goal.
He also failed to cover himself in glory for the other two he conceded, as shown in the highlights video on the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel.
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Performances such as this won’t fill the West Ham faithful with confidence and it doesn’t seem as though David Martin will be called upon.
With this in mind, Manuel Pellegrini should consider using 19-year-old academy goalkeeper Joseph Anang until Fabianski can return.
The Ghanaian has been an integral part of the U21s team that has been so dominant in Premier League 2 this campaign, playing all 10 of their games, conceding 11 goals and keeping 4 clean sheets, as per Transfermarkt.
He has also spoken confidently to the club’s official channels in the past, relishing his opportunity to be the main stopper in the academy while Nathan Trott is out on loan: “It’s all about hard work. When you are the first-choice goalkeeper, it’s very different from being a back-up.
“It’s much more difficult being a back-up and waiting for your opportunity when the first choice is not around.”
It could be considered a risk to allow him to fulfil the same role for the first-team, even on a short-term basis, but it could pay dividends for the Hammers.
From a personal point of view, playing in the Premier League would be superb experience for Anang, as he continues his development.
For the team, they have already been playing with a goalkeeper who has made mistakes, contributing to a run of six games without a win in all competitions, while Anang will be full of confidence as he hasn’t lost a single league game all season.
With Fabianski expected to be back in January, it is worth Pellegrini giving the teenager a try in the meantime.