The list of players who rose through the ranks at West Ham United before making a name for themselves away from East London is longer than one of Tomas Soucek’s limbs.
But unlike Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, Michael Carrick, Joe Cole and Jermain Defoe, there were no calls from Stamford Bridge or Old Trafford when Anthony Scully was packing his bags and saying goodbye to those claret-and-blue dreams back in 2019.
In his final season at West Ham, the London-born forward produced 12 goals and six assists in 14 Premier League 2 appearances.
No wonder the news of his sudden departure – on a permanent basis rather than the short-term loan many had expected – left many Hammers supporters scratching their heads in confusion.
The prevailing feeling, at the time, was that Scully deserved a chance in the first-team.
While it is hard to argue that the 22-year-old would be ripping up the Premier League by now if he’d been kept on – the difference between the third-tier and the top-flight is less a gap and more a chasm – Scully can certainly point to an outstanding run of form to argue that, like another League One starlet in Dapo Afolayan, West Ham might have made a decision they will regret.
Scully netted an impressive 17 times in 2020/21, firing Lincoln to the play-off final and within touching distance of the Championship. A heart-breaking defeat to Blackpool at Wembley soon put pay to those ambitions.
But with seven goals in just eight games so far this time around, do not bet against one of the hottest forwards in the EFL breaking last year’s tally by the end of the year – and firing Lincoln back into the promotion picture once again.
“He should have scored another three,” quipped Imps boss Michael Appleton after Scully scored a hat-trick against Manchester United in the EFL Cup recently (Lincolnshire Live).
“I’m delighted for him and it was a good night for him – he certainly made the most of the opportunities he got, but he knows what I’m like and I want him to score six. I want him to win two match balls!”
There are not many strikers in better form right than West Ham talisman Michail Antonio. Scully, however, may be one of the few.
In fact, no one has scored more than him in any of England’s top four divisions so far this term.