While West Ham United supporters spent a great deal of the January transfer window praying that David Moyes would make a move for a new centre-forward – quite rightly, as Michail Antonio has been the Hammers’ only senior striker since the sale of Sebastien Haller back in January 2021 – there will have been one person in east London secretly glad of the Irons’ failure to bring in a new attacker – Sonny Perkins.
Indeed, West Ham’s lack of any competition or backup for Antonio has seen the 18-year-old included in ten of Moyes’ matchday squads, as well as making three senior appearances so far this season – including the England U18 international’s first start for the club in the 1-0 Europa League defeat to Dinamo Zagreb.
However, it is not simply a lack of options up top that has led to Perkins’ more frequent inclusion in the first-team, but also the centre-forward’s deadly form for the U23s, for whom he has scored eight goals and provided two assists over 17 Premier League 2 appearances this term – with the latest of this haul coming in a 3-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur U23s on Monday.
Furthermore, ExWHUemployee has clearly also been impressed by the progression of the academy prospect, with the club insider stating on an episode of The West Ham Way podcast earlier this season:
“One player to pay attention to is a West Ham youngster called Sonny Perkins. This is someone I’ve spoken about on the podcast before as a talent, and he’s really beginning to stand out now at academy level, really getting rave reviews.
“Obviously, he’s performing on the international stage as well for his age, and he is one to keep an eye on. From what I’ve heard in the academy circles, he could be the next Declan Rice. So just keep your eye out for his progression within the next few years.”
As such, while the signing of a second striker will undoubtedly be one of Moyes’ priorities this summer, it would also appear a very wise move for the 58-year-old to continue to look at Perkins over the remainder of the season, as, with a bit of patience and trust, the youngster Tom Clark dubbed a “real talent” could well go on to become the Hammers’ next Tony Cottee – the Plaistow-born striker who scored 146 goals over 336 appearances for the Irons.