Sebastian Lletget grateful for LA Galaxy opportunity after West Ham standstill

West Ham Upton Park

The 22-year-old midfielder has netted six times in 11 games since joining the MLS club from the Hammers in May.

LA Galaxy midfielder Sebastian Lletget has expressed his gratitude to the MLS club for giving him the opportunity to prove himself following a forgettable six-year spell at West Ham United.

Lletget was speaking to lagalaxy.com after making a sensational start to his stateside career, netting six goals in his first 11 appearances across all competitions to establish himself as a regular in head coach Bruce Arena’s line-up.

The 22-year-old American joined the California outfit from West Ham in May on a free transfer ahead of his contract expiring this summer but, due to his lack of senior action, few fans knew what to expect from him at the time.

Having headed to England in June 2009 after impressing Hammers scouts while playing for local club Sporting Santa Clara, the San Francisco-native ended up earning just one first-team outing in a 5-0 FA Cup defeat at Nottingham Forest in 2014, as the since-departed Sam Allardyce saw no place for him in his side.

However, his move back to America has since allowed him the chance to showcase the talent that first attracted overseas interest – something the former US Under-23 international felt he was never going to get at Upton Park.

“It’s like my career was at a standstill for so long,” he said. “I knew what I could do and I’m just thankful to this club for giving me this opportunity.

“I’m sure there’s a lot of players it happens to. For whatever reason, the position they’re in, it just doesn’t come off for them. That was my situation, and luckily I’m here.”

Lletget has seen time at various positions since arriving in LA, operating in a No. 10 role, out wide and even dropping deeper into central midfield.

He has made the left wing spot his own of late, though, and club captain Robbie Keane, who was teammates with him for a brief period at West Ham in 2011, has been quick to praise his impact.

“He’s not your typical left winger,” Keane told lagalaxy.com. “He comes inside a lot, he comes off the line and makes it hard for defenders because you don’t know if he’s coming inside or outside.

“He’s good on the ball, very clever, and he scores goals. The hardest thing to do in football is score goals, and he’s doing it with a lot of confidence.

“He’s doing well for the team.”

Lletget’s displays for the Galaxy have been somewhat overshadowed by the recent additions of fellow big-name summer signings Steven Gerrard and Giovani dos Santos but he should remain an integral part of coach Arena’s first-choice XI moving forward.

Bidding for a fourth title in five seasons, the MLS Cup holders have been in astonishing form of late, winning four of their past five league games - while scoring five goals in three of those victories, and the ex-West Ham midfielder’s contributions to that run cannot be overstated.

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