West Ham loaning Alves means they are about to sign someone, or it means The Gaffer trusts his youth. Regardless, this gives one youngster a huge chance.
It was announced yesterday that West Ham’s young defender, Frederik Alves, was leaving the London Stadium to play his football at the Stadium of Light for the next 10 months. Leaving the Hammers will give the Dane the playing time needed and clear up roster space. The latter of those two may seem unhelpful right now, but it is if your name is Jamal Baptiste.
The 17-year-old has been positively extraordinary so far during the preseason and the U23s this year. Not trying to get ahead of ourselves, but Baptiste actually looks like a senior player already. His age makes it hard to think he could be anything but the next Declan Rice to bud into the first team.
Their two stories are similar in a way. Both he and Rice came up through the system as center-backs, and both were passed over or sat in waiting as the club looked at other transfers to fill a spot the leadership may have thought about filling. Rice eventually made his mark as the club loaned out others or sold off dead waste, and it might be the same scenario for Baptiste.
West Ham: Loaning Alves gives Jamal Baptiste his opening
Jamal Baptiste has terrifying ability and potential, and the teenager certainly looks like he has what it takes to reach the very top. Even though we only started hearing about his names a year ago, he is becoming highly regarded in East London.
Before yesterday, Alves was seemingly the fourth name on the depth chart behind Angelo Ogbonna, Craig Dawson, and Issa Diop. With him gone on loan and Ogbonna still slowly coming back in training, the misfortunes and changes for others may be exactly the ticket for the young English center-back.
Baptiste admitted that he had learned the most through trial by fire, and he might be getting more of that, and soon. Many will hope that David Moyes fills this hole with trusted talent, but much like Rice, Baptiste has proven himself worthy of a shot.