West Ham should use the emergency loan window to give Elliot Lee more first-team football

The young West Ham United striker should head out on loan again with increased competition for places at Upton Park.

Earlier on this season it looked as though young West Ham United striker Elliot Lee would finally get his breakthrough at the club after featuring regularly for the Hammers in their Europa League qualifying campaign.

West Ham fielded a young side in the early stages and Lee benefited from that approach, scoring the only goal of the game away to Lusitanos and making four appearances in total in that competition.

After not making the match-day squad for West Ham’s first three Premier League games of the new season, Lee was on the bench against Liverpool, but the Hammers’ deadline day business does not bode well for a youngster hoping to build on his seven first-team appearances to date.

With Nikica Jelavic now at the club, and Michail Antonio and Victor Moses also bringing additional goal-threat, Lee’s chances may be few and far between. So with the emergency loan window opening later this week a move to the Championship could be the best for all concerned.

Lee has previously enjoyed loan spells at Colchester United, Southend United and Luton Town, and if he ever wants to make it at West Ham he may have to prove himself in the second tier first.

Lee certainly has the talent to succeed at that level and if he excels he could head back to West Ham in January with a spring in his step and with a recent record that Bilic simply cannot ignore.

With a contract that expires next summer, Lee has to ensure he does enough in the interim to earn a new West Ham deal, and playing regular first-team football elsewhere will be a better option than adding to his 44 appearances for the under-21s.

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