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, Ajax academy product, Anouar El Mhassani.
We know he was at one point one of Ajax’s prized young talents but due to injury, his contract was not renewed. Injury prone talent you say? Sounds right up West Ham United’s alley! El Mhassani is naturally a left back, but with his speed and technical ability on the ball, he seems destined to wreak havoc on the wings.
The biggest concern when an academy player flushes out of a foreign system is why? Are we getting Ajax’s sloppy seconds on this one? Short answer? No. Sources say Anouar was looking to leave the Netherlands and join fellow teammates Daishawn Redan (joining Chelsea) and Kees de Boer (Swansea City) in taking their talents to the Premier League.
“Of course it’s an amazing feeling. I feel really pleased to be here. It’s a big step for me in my life as well as my football career, but I feel as though I am ready.
“After eight years at Ajax, I feel like I have seen it all and this is a new challenge, so it’s good for me.
“West Ham’s success in the Academy is something that I kept in my mind. West Ham is a good Academy, so it was a good step for me to come here and develop myself.”
Academy Play & Goals
El Mhassani is more than likely a few years away from hitting up the PL2 squad, but that doesn’t mean Terry Westley isn’t going to take notice if the boy can flourish early. Top goals for the lad will be to acclimate himself to the English style of football and to stay fit. West Ham has a flurry of wingers Anouar can learn from so this should be a wonderful opportunity for the young Dutch player. It shouldn’t take long for El Mhassani to take the leap to the next level if he can stay healthy.