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West Ham: Emmanuel Longelo is flourishing on loan

West Ham United boast a proud history of producing a number of top-level talents, with the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, Michael Carrick, Joe Cole and Declan Rice all being alumni of the Academy of Football.

And, with youngsters such as Jamal Baptiste, Keenan Appiah-Forson, Harrison Ashby, Oliver Scarles and Dan Chesters all having been included in at least one of David Moyes’ senior squads this season, the east London conveyor belt of talent is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon.

However, it is one player who is not currently at the club that looks as if he could well be one of the Hammers’ most exciting young prospects, left-back Emmanuel Longelo.

Having joined Birmingham City on a season-long loan deal in the summer, the 21-year-old has already established himself as a key part of John Eustace’s starting XI at St. Andrew’s, turning in a number of eye-catching displays for the Blues.

Indeed, over his seven Championship appearances in 2022/23, the £720k-rated full-back has been in fantastic defensive form, helping his side keep three clean sheets, as well as making an average of 1.7 interceptions, 1.1 tackles, 1.4 clearances and winning 4.6 duels – at a success rate of 53% – per game.

The £1.3k-per-week talent has also impressed going forwards, bagging one goal, in addition to taking an average of 1.4 shots, making 1.0 key pass and completing 1.1 dribbles per fixture.

These returns have seen the left-back average an excellent SofaScore match rating of 7.0, currently ranking him as Birmingham’s sixth-best performer in the second tier of English football – an extremely impressive feat for a youngster on his first loan spell away from West Ham.

Rather unsurprisingly, Eustace has been delighted with the performances of the defender, with the 42-year-old stating of Longelo after a 1-1 draw with Burnley back in October (via Birmingham Live):

“It’s unbelievable. Even at the end of the game on Wednesday, he was getting stronger. His fitness levels have been excellent. He is a young lad, learning his trade now, to get those five games in 19 days is an achievement, especially not having a pre-season.

“We will see how he is for tomorrow’s game, if he can get through that he has got a few days to recover before we go again. But we have been really pleased with his performances and the way he has gone about things.

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West Ham United manager David Moyes applauds the fans

How many points did West Ham end the Premier League season with?

“He is a good young player. We got him in when he was injured, without a pre-season, so we were still unsure whether he could get to the performance levels we expected – and what we have seen. But we knew that if he is fully fit then we have got a good young hungry player.”

As such, should the youngster be able to maintain his current level of performance over the remainder of the current campaign, it would very much appear as if Longelo will be in contention for a place in Moyes’ senior squad next season – as the 21-year-old looks to be an unbelievable talent.

Article title: West Ham: Emmanuel Longelo is flourishing on loan

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