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Dan Chesters: West Ham’s next Joe Cole?

On Thursday night, David Moyes handed yet another professional debut to one of West Ham’s promising youngsters – something which has been a recurring theme since he returned for a second stint at the club.

The Irons continued their impressive form in the Europa League with another win and clean sheet, taking them way clear at the top of Group H.

Genk threatened early on in the match but the tide turned just before the break when Craig Dawson nodded home from an Aaron Cresswell delivery. The left-back provided again in the second half, this time Issa Diop heading to the net, before Jarrod Bowen wrapped things up with a fine solo strike.

With the game more or less over by the hour mark, the Scotsman made changes to his starting XI, in which young academy gem Dan Chesters came on for his maiden senior appearance.

The 19-year-old midfielder came on for Manuel Lanzini in the 89th minute, joining a whole host of names to make their debut since Moyes’ comeback, including Harrison Ashby, Emmanuel Longelo, Jamal Baptiste, Nathan Trott, Oladapo Afolayan, Aji Alese, Mipo Odubeko and Jeremy Ngakia.

Chesters is an exciting attacking midfielder, who offers pace and creativity in the final third.

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West Ham’s official website describe him as ‘a livewire attacking midfielder capable of opening up the tightest of defences’. He is also capable of playing as a no.8, no.10 or out wide.

His impressive form for the U18s earned quite a lofty comparison to one of the Premier League’s very best.

“He’s a bit similar to Jack Grealish, claimed ex-Hammers midfielder Jack Collison to The Athletic.

“He takes people on and he’s lovely on the ball; really nice to watch. He’s one of the most exciting kids to watch in terms of what he can do when the ball’s at his feet.”

Meanwhile, Moyes waxed lyrical about his potential after the game. He told reporters, via “He has speed, he has trained well with the first team last week, when we were in the international break and he’d been quite impressive.

“We were a little bit short of attacking players today so it gave us a chance to get a couple of young players on the bench. Dan has been doing well and when he came on he showed his endeavour to stop them a couple of times.”

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Can you name all 10 ex-Hammers? First up... He assisted the first goal at the London Stadium but made only 8 appearances for the Irons, who is he?

Perhaps he could go on to become the next Joe Cole at the London Stadium. His versatility and skillset certainly provide clues into the two having plenty of similarities.

With the Irons still in every domestic cup competition, we should expect to see Chesters’ name on the teamsheet more often as Moyes looks to deal with a congested workload over the coming weeks and months.

The 58-year-old may have just discovered the club’s next Cole.

AND in other news, 97% pass accuracy, 89 touches: West Ham’s £60k-p/w “freak” stole the show against Genk

Article title: Dan Chesters: West Ham’s next Joe Cole?

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