West Ham's decision to release player proves Sam Allardyce was right all along

Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce

West Ham United's decision to release a highly-rated young talent could prove that former boss Sam Allardyce, now at Sunderland, was right all along.

West Ham United's Elliot Lee on the benchWest Ham United's Elliot Lee on the bench

The future of promising Hammers striker Elliot Lee has been hanging in the balance for some time.

Son of ex England, Newcastle United favourite Rob, Elliot was heralded the new Tony Cottee by Hammers fans thanks to his fearsome goalscoring record at youth and reserve team level.

As such there have long been calls from the terraces for Lee to be given his chance in the senior side.

Under former Hammers boss Allardyce the club were left in something of a striker crisis on a number of occasions.

West Ham's Modibo Maiga,  Kevin Nolan and Elliot Lee after conceding FC Astra's first goalWest Ham's Modibo Maiga, Kevin Nolan and Elliot Lee after conceding FC Astra's first goal

Big Sam was criticised for refusal to blood Lee

But Big Sam refused to budge under pressure to blood the young charge and only gave the stocky forward a couple of brief appearances as a substitute.

When Slaven Bilic took over last June, Lee - and indeed many West Ham fans - would have been thinking it was only a matter of time until he was finally given his chance to show what he could do.

And they were right. That chance came in the Hammers' Europa League qualifier against FC Lusitanos in Andorra summer and the then 20-year-old didn't disappoint, marking his first start with a goal in a 1-0 win.

Elliot Lee scores the first goal for West HamElliot Lee scores his first and only senior goal for West Ham

Hammers career started with a bang that quickly fizzled out

Lee had shown his determination to make a real go of his Hammers career by returning to pre-season training early after Bilic's arrival in a bid to feature for the club's first team.

Allardyce had been castigated by many supporters for failing to see his potential.

Loan spells at Colchester United and Luton Town saw the burly and pacy striker net his first senior goals either side of an ill-fated stint at Southend United where he sustained a hamstring injury in his first training session.

But crucially no sooner had Lee scored that first West Ham goal than he was demoted back to the reserves.

West Ham manager Slaven BilicWest Ham manager Slaven Bilic

A damning indictment from Bilic proved Allardyce was right all along

It was a damning indictment of Bilic's opinion of the young Englishman.

Age cannot be a factor because the former Croatia boss proved in the case of 16-year-old Reece Oxford, if he feels a player is good enough he will play them.

Lee was named on a list of players being released by the club this week.

It is a move which, as difficult as it may be to accept for some Hammers supporters, proves Allardyce was right all along that Lee was not up to Premier League standard.

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