Move over Reece Oxford... latest West Ham wonderkid Idris Kanu makes debut for second string, aged just 15

Reece Oxford could face competition for his record as West Ham United's youngest ever player after the emergence of another academy prodigy.

Sixteen-year-old Oxford shot to prominence with a man of the match display in a 2-0 win at Arsenal on his Premier League debut when West Ham got their season underway.

Oxford became West Ham's youngest ever player that day.

But he could already be under pressure to lose that prestigious title after the emergence of a new young talent from the Hammers' famous academy.

That's because Idris Kanu continued his own meteoric rise through the ranks in East London by making his debut for West Ham's Under 21 side... aged just 15.


The pacy 15-year-old has already been playing several levels above his own age group and underlined his burgeoning potential by getting a call-up to West Ham's second string for the game against Brighton and Hove Albion on Monday night.

Kanu made a splash at the end of last season after coming off the bench to score two goals in the final seven minutes of a 3-2 win for the Hammers' Under-18s against Liverpool.

But the match-winning brace were not the only goals Kanu scored against Liverpool that day.

Remarkably, the youngster also scored a free-kick earlier the same day to help the Under-15s draw with the Reds on another pitch at the Academy's Little Heath training ground.

He was needed as the Hammers we were low on numbers with their Under-21 side having played the night before.

The pacy and skillful youngster made an instant impression on his Under 21 debut showing off the power which belies his tender years to help his side to a 2-1 away win.

West Ham's official website reported that Kanu had 'looked lively on his U21 debut' and speaking after the game the teenager posted on Twitter: "Happy to make my under 21s debut and to start.

"Also happy to win 2-1, with a great team performance.

"Hopefully there's many more to come."


Confident Kanu

Kanu is clearly confident in his own ability.

Last season he correctly predicted he would progress to Under 21 football this campaign and revealed how eager he is to progress as quickly as possible.

He said at the time: “My aim now is to continue to play football at U18 level and to keep adapting and learning to make myself a better player.

"That will put me in a position next season to be a regular at a higher age group and look towards playing in the U21 football soon too.”

Oxford has proved youngsters will get their chance under Bilic

Unlike under former manager Sam Allardyce, one thing young players at West Ham know is that they will get a first team chance with Slaven Bilic as manager.

Bilic has already proved that with his decision to use Oxford at the Emirates.

Whether Kanu can make the breakthrough to the first team given the strength of the Hammers high-flying squad remains to be seen.

But one thing is for sure if Idris turns out to be half the player his namesake and Arsenal legend Nwankwo was in world football, West Ham fans will have plenty to cheer about.

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