After Dec comes another Blues to Hammers prospect


Joshua Ajala is an academy prospect who is looking to follow the Chelsea to Hammers route which served Declan so well!

The front man arrived ahead of the 2023/24 season to link up with Kevin Keen’s U18s, having previously played his schoolboy football with teh Blues.

The 16-year-old has found the net twice in his opening three competitive matches in Claret and Blue. He also scored in an U21s friendly over the summer.

He commented: “I’ve really enjoyed it so fa.  felt like I needed a change, and the transition from Chelsea to West Ham has been really good for me.

“I’m pleased with the way that I’ve started too. I’ve received a really warm welcome from West Ham and I feel like this Club suits the way that I play. It’s all been really good for me so far.”

Ajala is ambitious and confident too. He dreams of following in the footsteps of Academy of Football graduates such as Declan Rice, Ben Johnson and Divin Mubama, all of whom have made their first-team debut in recent years.

He continued: “There is a really good pathway to the first team at this football Club and that played a big part in my decision to move here.

“I’ve seen a lot of players progress through the youth ranks from the outside, such as Divin. I know that if I keep working and keep performing that I will have an opportunity to do the same.”

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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