West Ham success stories such as Declan Rice and Jeremy Ngakia prove that there is a clear path to the senior squad for the most talented youth team players.
Toni Martinez, though, was unable to make the transition from the U23s to the senior squad.
A prolific centre-forward at youth level, plenty of the Hammers faithful were eager to see him offered an opportunity but he faded into the background before moving to Portuguese outfit FC Famalicão in July 2019.
But how has Martinez fared since leaving east London for a new challenge overseas?
In the midst of the Premier League hiatus, it’s a perfect opportunity to see how he’s getting on…
Slaven Bilic brought Martinez to the club in a deal worth £2.4m in 2016.
Signing from Valencia, the youngster arrived with decent goal scoring pedigree and that trend continued in West Ham’s youth sides.
He scored 25 goals in 29 appearances for the U23 side and his form prompted fans on social media to demand a senior call up.
In the end, though, Martinez made just three appearances for the club, with all of them arriving in the FA Cup.
After four different loan spells in England and Spain, Manuel Pellegrini allowed the promising striker to complete a permanent move to FC Famalicão.
It’s too early to say that the Irons made a glaring blunder but Martinez has certainly begun to deliver on some of the promise he showcased as a youngster.
Now 22 years old, he has found his feet in Portugal and scored 12 goals in 30 appearances, which makes him the club’s top goalscorer in all competitions.
There is still plenty of scope for improvement for the Spaniard in terms of his overall contribution, though.
He currently averages 0.6 key passes per game and just 0.4 dribbles, while he also completes just 13 passes per game, per Whoscored. All of these figures point towards a striker who is overly reliant on his goal scoring prowess and struggles to provide a breadth of qualities at the spearhead of the attack.
Naturally, it will take him time to settle in his new environment and become accustomed to the speed and style of Liga Nos, but his early goal return suggests this could be the beginning of a glowing stint in Portugal.
Perhaps the Irons will eventually rue to regret his exit from London Stadium.