The holiday fixture list is a great opportunity for Slav to reach in to the youth set-up and give Toni Martinez a chance before the January transfer window. The 19-year-old has been playing exceptionally well for the U23 side, with twelve goals in eleven appearances. For a West Ham team that is looking for goals from anywhere they can find them, why not throw Martinez in the mix?
While I don’t want to make this a relegation-battle article, it seems as though Slav is being conservative just to ensure safety, possibly making him hold off on seeing what the younger players can offer. While that is not a bad move by any means (safety is, above all, the most important thing right now), before going out and over-spending on a
n old striker to help, perhaps letting Martinez run wild up in the final third could provide a spark.
In his last game against Hull, Toni scored three. The first a (somewhat poorly taken) penalty, the second from the run of play, while the third was from a cross, using his body to shield a defender, bring the ball down and fire home. I know this the the PL2 and he would be going up against more physical defenders in the Prem, that type of work rate should be rewarded with at least an appearance on the squad list, if not a 20-minute cameo at the end of the game. Heck, let’s pair him with Ashley Fletcher and see what they can do. It can’t hurt, right?