Young West Ham striker Jaanai Gordon fires timely reminder to boss Slaven Bilic amid injury crisis

Slaven Bilic

West Ham United boss Slaven Bilic is suffering a major injury crisis but the answer could be right under his nose.

The Hammers are experiencing what seems to be an annual glut of injuries to key players after losing star man Dimitri Payet, strike duo Enner Valencia and Diafra Sakho, key playmaker Manuel Lanzini and now Victor Moses too.

It means Bilic is left in the unenviable position of relying on injury-prone striker Andy Carroll and the unfancied Nikica Jelavic up front.

But the answer to his problems could be right under his nose after young striker Jaanai Gordon, signed from Peterborough last year, fired a timely reminder of his talents.

Flash Gordon

Gordon scored twice in the West Ham Development Squad's 4-0 win over Exeter City in the Premier League Under 21 Cup last week.

And he followed that up with another in a 2-1 win over a strong West Bromich Albion Under 21 side containing the likes of Saido Berahino on Tuesday night.

His brace in the cup included what could be the fastest ever West Ham goal as the former Posh prodigy finished emphatically straight from the kick-off, as reported by West Ham's official website.

Just 10 minutes after, Gordon doubled his tally and that of the team with a fine header.

Then against West Brom on what was his 20th birthday, Gordon was again on the scoresheet smashing home a stunning strike and looking dangerous throughout.

Perfect timing?

It was a great time to shine for Gordon who will be looking to start playing first team football in the near future having now turned 20.

The Northampton-born star offers pace, guile and strength and has similar attributes to Sakho.

His youthful exuberance could be just what the Hammers need to lift some of the gloom that is surrounding the club in the wake of the spate of long-term injuries.

While fellow development squad striker Elliot Lee has been loaned out to Blackpool, Gordon has been retained.

If the club were going to loan him out surely they would have sent him back to Peterborough after signing him to continue his first team progression there?

Bilic trusts youth

That could give an indication that Bilic, who has a strong pedigree of blooding young players at both club and international level, rates the player.

The former Croatia boss has already shown he is not afraid to give youth a chance either.

He made Reece Oxford the youngest player in West Ham's history when he started him in the 2-0 win over Arsenal at the Emirates on the opening day of the season.

And West Ham Development squad boss Terry Westley told the club's official website in the wake of their fifth win in a row that the likes of Gordon are ready to step up.

“The players are learning all the time which is important, and that’s our job to produce players ready for the first team," Westley told whufc.com.

"And then collectively, if they jell together then you have the makings of a good team.

"That’s a bonus really, now I’m seeing plenty of our players ready to make that step into the first team."

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