Welcome to the latest series from everyone’s favorite, Brace The Hammer. Over 20 writers ranked 32 youth players (21 and under) for West Ham United. We ranked them by assigning each player a max of 20 points, down to 1. The top 15 averages made our list.
Every day, leading up to the start of the season, we will be bringing to you our top fifteen youth academy prospects for West Ham United. Up next, young right back Alex Pike.
Pike joined West Ham from Buckhurst Hill FC (he’s in their Hall of Fame) in 2008 playing first with the U11 side and then working his way up through the youth ranks. The 20-year old currently plays for the Premier League 2 side and made his senior side debut against in the 2-1 Europa League loss FC Astra Giurgiu in 2016.
A right back, he fancies himself in the Aaron Cresswell mold and performed well for the Academy. He played for the U18s as a schoolboy and had his breakout campaign in 2014/15 featuring for the U18s and U21s, finishing up by signing a professional contract. In 2016, he represented West Ham at the HK Soccer Sevens tournament where the young Hammers side finished runners up.
WATCH THIS @AlexPike97 with the opening goal for @whufc_official against @LCFC @hksoccer7s #hksoccer7s pic.twitter.com/YwligUXDpt— HK Soccer Sevens (@hksoccer7s) May 21, 2016
In January 2017 he was loaned to Cheltenham Town (League 2) where he made 5 appearances. Unfortunately, his time there was cut short due to injury:
...both tomorrow and for the rest of the season. And also a thanks to the fans for their support throughout my time there. #CTFC— Alex Pike (@AlexPike97) March 24, 2017
Also in 2016, he showed his versatility by slotting in as a center back when called upon. Overall, Pike made huge strides as a player and professional last term.
This season he looks to feature again in the PL2 side, with a loan a possibility as well. With the senior side flush with right backs (Pablo Zabaleta and Sam Byram), Pike will look to continue his development. At only 20, he has a bright future with the side and his prowess to move forward will do him well in a future where wing-backs are held in very high-esteem.