He may be a striker but there’s a belief among those close to West Ham that young academy gem Sonny Perkins could well become the club’s next Declan Rice.
That’s certainly one claim from Irons insider ExWHUemployee, who made the exciting declaration on a recent episode of his ‘The West Ham Way’ podcast.
He said: “One thing to also pay attention to is a West Ham youngster called Sonny Perkins. He was on target for the England U18s on Monday as they beat Russia.
“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 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.”
That speaks volumes on not just his potential but his current ability. Clearly he’s performing way above his current age, so that’s exactly why he’s being touted as another Rice, who broke into the first team as a teenager himself.
Perkins has been in fine form for West Ham’s youth teams this season, scoring five times in nine appearances across the Under-18 Premier League, the Premier League 2 and the EFL Trophy, and that includes an impressive hat-trick against Reading at the start of the new campaign.
Meanwhile, according to The Athletic, there is plenty of optimism over West Ham’s current academy set-up, and it is something in which first-team manager David Moyes has taken a keen interest.
He and his backroom staff regularly attend games, so it’s surely a matter of time before Perkins catches his eye, if he hasn’t already.
Given the Hammers’ need for striking reinforcements, a player of the teenager’s calibre could well help save the club millions in future transfer windows.
If you’ve got the ability, then it doesn’t matter what age you are, and the likes of Rice and Ben Johnson have been testament to that.