David Moyes admits Sonny Perkins was gutted despite West Ham United winning 2-0 away to Rapid Vienna after spurning a chance to score on his senior debut, via football.london.
The Irons boss handed Perkins his first-team bow at the Allianz Stadion on Thursday in the Europa League group stage. They had already secured a place in the knockout phase, but a win in Austria ensured the Hammers progress straight into the last 16 and avoid a play-off.
Moyes named an experienced starting line-up in Vienna, where first-half goals from Andriy Yarmolenko and Mark Noble proved the difference. Keeping up the Irons’ unbeaten record.
With West Ham on course to beat Rapid Vienna, Moyes introduced Perkins for Nikola Vlasic on 78-minutes for his debut. And his first act as a senior player was to fire a header straight at Paul Gartler. The Hutteldorfer goalkeeper would again deny him in stoppage-time, too.
Moyes backs Perkins for further West Ham chances after Rapid Vienna bow
West Ham boss Moyes takes a lot of joy in handing teenagers their first-team debuts and expects to give Perkins further opportunities, like at Rapid Vienna, if he keeps impressing.
“Well, I’ve got to say, I’ve given quite a few 17-year-olds and a few 16-year-olds [their] debut, too,” he said. “So, I think it’s always pleasing when you give a young boy a chance.
“He’s really disappointed he didn’t score the header, but he’s deserved it – as did Dan Chester’s, there were a couple of others on the bench as well.
“They are beginning to knock on the door. I want to be able to use them, and if they perform and they run around the way that they do and he does well, he will give himself every chance of getting another game.”
Prolific Perkins earned his senior breakthrough in Austria
Perkins had never featured in a senior West Ham matchday squad before Moyes’ side beat Rapid Vienna on Thursday. But the 17-year-old has been prolific at junior levels this season.
The England U18 international has scored nine and assisted one goal in 15 outings for the Irons’ youth sides. Including five in eight PL2 and four in four U18 Premier League games.
Perkins, who can play on the wing or through the centre, also scored for England’s U18s in October and November. He struck home once against both Russia and the Netherlands.
So, it is hardly surprising for Moyes to admit that Perkins was disappointed to not score on his senior West Ham debut against Rapid Vienna in the Europa League on Thursday night.
He produced a powerful header from Vladimir Coufal’s delivery to nearly make an instant impact. On a night he became the second-youngest player to play for West Ham in a major European competition at 17-years, 288-days after Bobby Barnes (17y, 275d) back in 1980.