West Ham fans know to be cautious with young players. For every Rio Ferdinand there is a Reece Oxford, with not all prospects capable of fulfilling their potential.
Yet its hard not to be encouraged about the progress being made by young defender Jamal Baptiste.
Baptiste, 15, is already starring for West Ham's under-23 side.
The promising centre-back played last night as the Hammers beat West Bromwich Albion 2-0 away from home, with Antony Scully netting a brace.
Baptiste's role in keeping a clean sheet was praised by Hammers under-23 coach Dmitri Halajko.
After also noting the contribution of 17-year-old goalkeeper Joe Anang, Halajko picked out Baptiste's growing role at the club.
He said: "To have a 15-year-old ahead of him, Jamal Baptiste, really shows the level of talent that is at the West Ham academy. We’ve got a 15-year-old here that can play Under-23s level football, and help us to get two clean sheets on the bounce."
Baptiste is clearly an exciting talent, and is not even old enough to sign a professional deal yet.
West Ham will do everything they can to ensure he puts pen to paper with them, and until then, they might be wise to try and keep this exciting talent under wraps.
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