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Frustration for young Hammer at loan club

Young Hammer goalscorer Dan Kemp is struggling to break into his loan club Blackpool’s first team this season.

The 21-year old  winger is highly regarded in East London and was sent to Bloomfield Road to gain some valuable EFL experience after grabbing a dozen goals for the Irons in premier League 2 last season.

But so far his appearances have been restricted to cup competitions, and he’s barely clocked up any minutes.

Before his latest move, Kemp had enjoyed a productive loan spell at Stevenage. During his time in Hertfordshire, he netted his first goal in senior football and brought some much-needed energy to proceedings.

Despite arriving in Lancashire with a decent reputation, he’s been largely restricted to appearances from the bench. He is yet to complete 90 minutes for the Seasiders despite being one of the standout performers in the EFL Trophy this season.

He claimed an assist against Accrington in October, before netting the first goal against Leeds U23s a month later.

Sadly for Kemp, Neil Critchley’s side was dropped out of the competition by neighbours Fleetwood at the beginning of December, and as a result, he may struggle to make an impression during the second half of the campaign.

Kemp’s misfortune isn’t a reflection of his ability, with many Blackpool players finding form in recent months. The Seasiders got off to a poor start, however, as of December 16th, they’ve won seven of their last ten League One matches and are in decent form going into the hectic festive period.

With just over a quarter of the season complete, Critchley’s men have finally hit top gear, and at 3/1 in the latest outright betting to finish in the top six, some fans are beginning to speak, albeit in hushed tones, about the possibility of promotion this season.

They could be good value for this market, but the live betting or pre-match markets would be more suitable options to take advantage of the recent strong form.

With several members of the starting XI having become un-droppable over the last few weeks, Kemp isn’t the only player who has struggled to displace the likes of the CJ Hamilton, Sullay Kaikai and Kenny Dougall. Bez Lubala, Ben Woodburn, Jordan Gabriel and Oliver Sarkic have also seen their minutes limited. Although the club’s strength-in-depth is admirable, Critchley must find a way to keep his fringe players motivated throughout the rest of 2020.

Kemp came off the bench during the club’s FA Cup second-round success over Harrogate at the end of November. He’ll be hoping to have chance to shine against West Brom at the beginning of January.

He has been unlucky so far, and one or two injuries may gift him the opportunity to shine in the coming weeks. The West Ham hierarchy must be considering a recall in January and they have the option to bring him back to East London. Given his lack of game-time so far this season, they may wish to explore alternative options for the talented wide-man.

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About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

One comment on “Frustration for young Hammer at loan club

  1. Interesting piece. Goes to illustrate that life is rarely a fairytale. Dan Kemp will still gain invaluable experience from his time at Blackpool albeit not playing every game in a struggling team. Don’t really want him back playing for our first team if he has to play every game as we struggle. Don’t want to see us struggling – would much rather see competition for places in a successful (on many levels) team. It’s only a few months, Dan. Get through it and learn from the experience.
    Well done, Hugh. Informative as ever.

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