Ex-West Ham youngster Sebastian Lletget named one of MLS' top three prospects

West Ham Upton Park

The 23-year-old midfielder has proved a revelation for the LA Galaxy since arriving in May from the Hammers.

Very few MLS fans knew much about Sebastian Lletget when he joined the LA Galaxy in May.

After all, the 23-year-old American managed just one senior appearance in six years at West Ham United and had never featured at the professional level in the USA before returning home in an effort to kick-start his career.

Fast forward only a few months, though, and you’d be extremely hard-pressed to find a stateside supporter who isn’t aware of the skilful midfielder after the fantastic start he’s made to life in LA.

The emerging playmaker has so far proved a revelation for the Galaxy, establishing himself as the first-choice starter on the left wing, while bagging an impressive eight goals in 20 competitive appearances thanks to his skill and movement in the attacking third.

Having been outshining fellow summer signings Steven Gerrard and Giovani dos Santos in the process, there’s now even strong support for the former US Under-23 international to receive a first senior call-up, while his teammates have also been quick to sing his praises of late.

“He’s not your typical left winger,” Galaxy captain and fellow ex-Hammer Robbie Keane told lagalaxy.com back in July. “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.”

It’s no surprise then that when MLS released their annual “24 Under 24” list this week, in which a panel of leading soccer media members from across the states rank the league’s top prospects, Lletget’s named featured near the top.

In fact, the Galaxy hotshot came in at No. 3 behind only FC Dallas winger Fabian Castillo and Vancouver Whitecaps forward Kekuta Manneh, having received more votes than the likes of Will Trapp, Matt Miazga and Juan Agudelo, to name just a few.

Given that they’re regarded as some of the USA’s best and brightest, that’s certainly no mean feat and begs the question, how what is that he never managed to make the breakthrough at West Ham?

Originally joining the club in June 2009 after being spotted playing for local side Sporting Santa Clara, the California-native went on to establish himself as one of their leading talents over the following seasons and looked set for a bright future in the English game.

In the end, though, the versatile No. 10 never even featured in the Premier League, as he made his lone first-team outing in the infamous 5-0 FA Cup defeat at Nottingham Forest in 2014 before being deemed surplus to requirements towards the end of last season.

Nevertheless, he’s clearly been proving his ability since arriving at the Galaxy on a free transfer in the summer and, with international honours not far off, it looks like West Ham might just come to regret letting him go.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch