The Hammers could be left frustrated at the departure of 24-year-old Bolton Wanderers striker Oladapo Afolayan after he has come into great scoring form for the League One side.
The former Chelsea and West Ham youngster began to show signs that he could have a future under David Moyes last season after he came off the bench to grab a goal against Doncaster Rovers in the FA Cup.
However, a lack of first-team opportunities led to his departure this summer, when Bolton signed the youth product on a free transfer.
Now, as he gets older, is the time for Afolayan to make his statement in English football and he has been coming into scoring form quite nicely for the Trotters in recent weeks.
In 13 games in all competitions for manager Ian Evatt’s side, he has scored seven goals and recorded two assists – slowly creeping his way into their starting XI plans.
This is even more impressive due to the fact that he is playing predominantly as a winger for the League One club, as opposed to his former striker role.
What it means for West Ham…
While it is hard to say early on what kind of player he could eventually become, if he continues at this rate then we might well see Afolayan back in the Premier League one day.
Although he is playing at a much lower standard in League One, these kinds of signs are positive for his development as a player and could be exactly what he needed. Instead of playing with the U23’s with the Hammers, he is now getting regular game time at a professional level.
West Ham are doing very well this season, competing fiercely in every competition put in front of them. Moyes’ side is also performing impressively in front of goal, scoring 14 league goals in just seven league games already.
However, with Michail Antonio available as our only out and out striker right now, Afolayan could have been a good second choice this season.
A loan move away would have put fans minds at ease a bit more, but now Afolayan has the platform to make a progressive leap in his footballing career.