David Moyes can save West Ham United millions in the January transfer window by unleashing 18-year-old prospect Mipo Odubeko as his Sebastien Haller replacement.
The Hammers are being linked with an array of attacking options following their decision to cash-in on club-record signing Haller for a £25m loss, with claims of a €10m (£9m) move for Stade de Reims’ Boulaye Dia being imminent.
It has also been suggested that the London Stadium outfit are ready to pay €15m (£13.5m) to sign Cadiz CF’s Anthony Lopez, but neither he nor Dia may be needed if Moyes unleashes Odubeko.
And according to 90min, Odubeko may be about to get his chance, with the publication claiming West Ham are ready to see what their academy talent has in store after he made his senior debut in their FA Cup win over Stockport County.
Moyes is understood to want to see more of what Odubeko has to offer before sanctioning any spending in the January market, having seemingly been impressed by the teen gem signed in October 2019 after spending his schoolboy days in the youth set-up at Manchester United.
Academy Manager Ricky Martin praised the capture of the prolific forward, who had scored 35 goals for the junior Red Devils side, believing the Hammers had done well to fight off fierce European competition for the powerful attacker.
“Mipo signing for West Ham is another really positive story for the academy,” he said. “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.”
Odubeko wasted no time in settling in to scoring in claret and blue following his move to West Ham in 2019, striking nine goals in seven Under 18 games to warrant promotion to the U23s, where he has found the back of the net three times in two appearances.
His record made sure that it was no wonder that Moyes opted to take a closer look during his side’s FA Cup encounter with non-league opposition, and claims that Odubeko will now be given further opportunities to establish himself will surely only be seen as good news at the London Stadium.
Co-owner and Chairman David Sullivan, in particular, will surely be keeping a close eye on developments in the next few days ahead of West Ham’s Premier League meetings with Burnley and West Bromwich Albion, plus the FA Cup fourth-round tie with Doncaster Rovers, as he weighs up the need to spend out on signing a Haller replacement if Moyes may already have his man.
AND in other news: Exclusive: West Ham’s Declan Rice tipped to join Chelsea on one condition.