It is no secret that West Ham are searching for frontline additions this summer, and boy, do they need them.
The Irons failed to replace Sebastian Haller during the January transfer window, leaving manager David Moyes in the precarious spot of having only one senior forward option – an injury-prone Michail Antonio.
A player who has never played more than 63% of games in a Premier League season since joining the club.
Several names have been mooted as targets in recent months, with Chelsea outcast Tammy Abraham and Czech wonderkid Adam Hlozek seemingly among the top candidates, as per The Athletic.
West Ham’s need for another striker is only going to ramp up after the side sensationally qualified for the Europa League, nearly a year on from avoiding relegation with one game to spare.
Truth be told, Antonio plus one new addition may not be enough to make the Hammers as competitive as they should be next season. Two games a week will quickly become the norm and rotation will be key for Moyes to keep building on his success at the London Stadium.
The Scot could alleviate such worries by dipping his toes into their promising academy set-up and there’s one striker who looks primed for an increased role next season.
Back in February, Moyes hinted towards the 18-year-old getting an opportunity.
“He’s been training with the first team but his biggest problem is he just got back from injury and he had to isolate,” the 58-year-old said, before later adding: “He scored a couple of goals (against Southampton Under-23s). I watched the game and I’ve been pleased with him. If the opportunities came along where I felt there was a chance to introduce him in some way, I wouldn’t be against doing so.”
It’s been a long, long time since an attacker was promoted from Chadwell Heath to Rush Green, and then subsequently gone onto forge a successful career in East London.
Perhaps in Odubeko, Moyes can finally find a player to follow the path of Jermain Defoe. He certainly has a similar eye for goal as the former England international.
Moyes handed him his debut in the FA Cup this season, featuring from the bench against Stockport County before playing an hour in the defeat to Manchester United.
When clinching his signature, academy chief Ricky Martin waxed lyrical about Odubeko and his qualities.
“He is a promising player we are looking forward to working with and this move is a great opportunity for him to join us and continue his journey,” he said before adding: “It will naturally take Mipo some time to settle in, but we believe West Ham is the perfect environment for Mipo to flourish and fulfil his undoubted potential.”
Similarly, his former coach Bernard Byrne dubbed him a “special talent” in an interview with The Athletic.
That’s a lot of hype to live up to but if he can, then West Ham may well stumble upon their next Defoe.