Mipo Odubeko’s unhappy Hammers debut serves as the best possible reminder of how big the leap is from Under 23 football to the first team.
There have been regular calls on the forums for youngsters to be plunged into action when circumstances are difficult with the decision to often send them out on loan questioned.
That has been an issue raised time and again when the likes of Nathan Trott, Nathan Holland and Conor Coventry and others have been sent out into the hurly burly of lower league football. They either grow into the first team or otherwise.
But that is a well known and much used routine of toughening up youngsters and ensuring they are ready when the time comes for the demands of big time football.
Mipo showed that it’s an essential part of a young player’s development although some respond better to being bred within the club system as was the case with Declan.
It’s a sensible and obvious way forward for the majority of kids as being thrown into the big time too soon has been shown as not the most sensible way of doing things.
First team football too soon can be a hindrance rather than a help.