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West Ham: Moyes could unearth next Jermain Defoe in Callum Marshall

West Ham United boast a remarkable record with regards to their production of young talent, with the potential next star name to emerge from the famed academy ranks that of striker, Callum Marshall.

The 17-year-old starlet only arrived from Linfield back in January although has already made a fine impression in east London, with a senior debut potentially on the horizon amid his current goalscoring heroics.

The youngster notably scored nine goals in just 16 games for the club’s U18 side in the second half of last season, before bagging five goals in just four games in the Zlaty Kahan Cup in the Czech Republic back in early July.

The highly-rated teenager subsequently hit the headlines over the summer after starring in the club’s Premier League Next Gen Cup triumph, netting a hat-trick in the semi-final win over Crystal Palace, before adding a further four goals in the showpiece victory against rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

The “lively” marksman – as dubbed by former coach David Healy – has continued that sparkling form in the new campaign with six goals in just three games at U18 level, including scoring another treble against Palace last month.

Following that comeback win, the prolific striker was lauded by coach Kevin Keen for his “natural talent for scoring goals” as well as his impressive work rate in leading the line, with all the signs pointing to a player who could be a real gem for the club in the years to come.

Would you like to see Marshall handed his debut?

No, too soon!

No, too soon!

Yes please!

Yes please!

The Irons seemingly have history with regards to producing ‘natural’ finishers in the modern era, with former England international Jermain Defoe another forward to have emerged from the youth ranks to become a leading figure at the club in the past.

The now-retired ace was handed his debut by manager Harry Redknapp in a Worthington Cup clash with Walsall back in September 2000, netting a goal on that first-team bow to set the tone for the impressive, lengthy career that would follow.

After a promising loan stint at Bournemouth – where he netted in ten successive league games – the Englishman returned to become a key figure in Redknapp’s side during the 2001/02 season, eventually going on to score 40 goals in just 104 games for the club over the next few years.

While Defoe would seal a controversial £7m switch to Spurs in 2004 to bring his time at the club to something of a sour end, it is hard to deny the obvious goalscoring talent that he showcased both for the Hammers and in the years that followed.

A player with a remarkable haul of 302 goals to his name in 756 club career games – as well as 20 goals in just 57 games for his country – the 39-year-old is certainly a good figure to emulate, with current West Ham boss David Moyes likely to be in for a treat if young Marshall can prove just as impactful.