The reason West Ham should not worry about Europa League qualification

West Ham Upton Park

West Ham may have to play more games due to the Europa League, but that could actually be a benefit.

The Hammers look set to qualify for the Europa League through the Fair Play table, meaning that they enter at the first qualification round.

This will result in their season starting on July 2nd, meaning that pre-season plans will be in disrepair, and the playing squad will be stretched to the limit in terms of fitness and rotation before the Premier League campaign has even begun.

These consequences have led many people to suggest that missing out on the Europa League would actually be a better thing for the Hammers, but with qualification looking assured, the East London club should see the main benefit of qualifying for Europe.

All those extra games means that the Hammers squad should be rotated, and that gives the manager in charge the perfect opportunity to try out youngsters and academy players in low-pressure situations.

West Ham would be favourites to progress through the early rounds due to the quality of the competition, and the games being played would be perfect for the likes of Reece Burke, Reece Oxford and Doneil Henry to be given chances to impress.

Tottenham utilised the Europa League this season to test out players, and they prospered due to Harry Kane’s breakthrough into first-team star and England international.

The Hammers should look to use the same approach to the games as Spurs, whilst benefitting further due to the lack of quality competition in the early rounds.

These young players would be given few chances in the Premier League due to the stakes riding on the competition - Burke is only playing now as there is nothing riding on the season - and the Europa League is the ultimate opportunity to give them chances to impress, allowing them to earn first-team roles in domestic competition.

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