West Ham youngster Alex Pike using Reece Burke as inspiration following contract extension

Alex Pike recently agreed a contract with West Ham, and is keen to break into the first-team.

18-year-old defender Pike is just one of many Hammers youngsters to have agreed professional contracts with the club, and he has told the official club website of his delight, and why he looks up to Reece Burke.

The youngster said: “I’m just really pleased to have signed the contract and am ready to go again next year now. It's one step of many more that you need to get all the way to the first team, but it is one more done.

“Looking at Reece Burke, it gives inspiration to us all because it shows that it's possible and that it's there for any of us who are willing to work hard for it.”

Burke, also 18, is considered one of the best talents in the West Ham academy, and he finally made his Premier League debut this season. Towards the end of the campaign he was given the chance to impress by manager Sam Allardyce, and ended up appearing in five consecutive games.

Despite being the same age, Pike is much further away from the first-team, but he is still considered a big talent. Also a defender, he is an attacking full-back, and it is pleasing to see that he is keen to channel Burke’s success and break into the first-team.

Pike made 20 appearances at Under-18 level during the 2014/15 season, whilst also appearing 13 times for the Under-21’s. He is playing far above his age group, and it may not be too long before he starts to make an impact at first-team level.

With the Hammers in the Europa League this coming season, their campaign starts at the beginning of July, and Pike and his fellow youngster may be given the chance to impress in the early qualifying rounds, when the opponents are less challenging and of a lower quality.

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