'Taking little bits': 18-year-old West Ham prospect names two players he enjoys learning from in training

Brian Heffernan April 20, 2021
'Taking little bits': 18-year-old West Ham prospect names two players he enjoys learning from in training
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Ademipo Odubeko has highlighted Jesse Lingard and Declan Rice as two players he loves to learn from while training with the West Ham first team, speaking to the club’s official website.

Odubeko has had to wait patiently for chances in the first team but gets to learn from West Ham’s senior players on a daily basis.

The youngster has played six matches in Premier League 2 this season, scoring a remarkable eight goals plus one assist.

And that sort of form hasn’t gone unnoticed by West Ham boss David Moyes, with Odubeko making two appearances in the FA Cup this season.

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Odubeko is hoping for more chances but says just being around quality players in training is good enough at the moment.

Odubeko: ‘What you want as a kid’

The 18-year-old said: “I’m in and around the first team every single day, training with them. 

“The form they’re in… and you see players like Jesse Lingard, Declan Rice and the stuff they’re doing. 

“Just watching them day in, day out, and taking little bits from them, little bits of confidence. It’s good.”

Regarding opportunities in David Moyes’ first team, Odubeko said: “It was good to get a couple of minutes with the first team too. 

“That’s what you want as a kid. I’ve had lots of learning experiences, which is good.”

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Rice and Lingard are ideal players to learn from, with both having outstanding seasons.

Rice and Lingard stats

Lingard is the highest-rated player in the West Ham squad, according to Whoscored ratings.

The Englishman has an average rating of 7.53 out of 10 this season. That compares with fellow England international Rice, who has achieved a 7.02 rating.

Lingard has been one of the Hammers’ best assets in terms of goals, with the 28-year-old bagging nine already this season. The England international also has three assists, two more than Rice.

The holding-midfielder has also only scored one goal, but is better known for his superb defensive abilities.

Both players are likely to make England’s squad for the Euros this summer. And Odubeko, although an Irishman, is doing his own international chances no harm at all by learning from his peers.

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Brian Heffernan is head of recruitment at Horsham FC. He has also scouted for League Two and Danish clubs and worked freelance in the Russian Premier League. Brian’s work includes trialling and signing players and creating detailed opposition dossiers for first-team managers. He’s also a sports journalist specialising in football.