West Ham defender Kyle Knoyle has joined Dundee United on loan for the rest of the season as the Scottish Premiership side aim to perform a great escape and stay in the top flight.

Having already made his West Ham debut, the 19-year-old is bidding to gain even more experience in competitive football.

He will be linking up with former West Ham player Guy Demel, although Knoyle will not be able to play tomorrow in the pivotal match against fellow strugglers Kilmarnock. If Mixu Paatelainen’s side lose that match, they will be 17 points astray at the bottom of the table, and that would likely be the final nail in their coffin.

However, a win would move them to within 11 points of Killie, and whilst that is still a considerable margin, it is not insurmountable.

Although the English youngster does not feature in Slaven Bilic’s current plans, this loan spell may change that opinion in the summer, but it should enhance his playing ability.

Playing competitive football, especially when developing, is what every young player needs, especially when in the academy of a Premier League side, where chances for youngsters are at best limited. Playing in games where three points really matter should do the 19-year-0ld the world of good.