Speaking to the Standard, Slaven Bilic has admitted that young players could be leaving West Ham this month as they have not been given the chance to play that much first-team football this season.
Bilic said: “There will be a few of our younger players who haven’t had the opportunity to play a lot but are definitely in my head as prospects for the future who could go out on loan. That’s because only that way will they show me and my staff that they are ready to jump into the team when their chance comes around next season.”
Bilic has given youth players their chances this season - most notably Reece Oxford - but all those appearances came when the East London club were struggling with injuries.
Since completing their summer transfer business, academy players have been given fewer chances, and it is hard to imagine that changing for the rest of the season whilst Bilic’s men fight for European football.
This means the likes of Oxford, Josh Cullen and Elliot Lee will spend the rest of the year in the Under-21 set-up, which is far below their level of talent.
Thankfully, Bilic seems aware of this, and is ready to sanction their shot-term departures for the second half of the season.
Oxford and Cullen have shown themselves in the Premier League, and Championship sides are surely going to want to take them on loan. Lee may have to settle for a League One switch, having done little to impress whilst with Blackpool in the first-half of this campaign.