New signing at West Ham United’s youth team, Mipo Odubeko made the best of his devbut with The Hammers’ under-18 squad, as he scored on his debut, as he helped his side thrash Swansea City 8-0, and earned praises galore from the assistant coach, Mark Phillips, megasportsarena.com reports.
West Ham announced the signing of the prolific Nigerian-born Republic of Ireland under-17 star after weeks of speculation, thereby warding off similar interest by Juventus of Italy and Atletico Madrid of Madrid, who were both reportedly keen on snatching the lad named ‘Ademipo.’
Indeed, West Ham had to go public with a statement to throw light on Odubeko’s arrival, following a pang of controversy that trailed his arrival from Old Trafford, where he had been for four years before making the switch to London.
At Old Trafford, Odubeko made a name for himself as one of the hottest young players around, scoring 35 goals and netting on his U18 Premier League debut last season, which left many pundits believing West Ham now have a top talent on their hands.
The powerful centre forward, who was born and raised in Ireland and turned 17 on Monday, snubbed a contract extension offer from The Red Devils, choosing to sign for West Ham, where club fans are even thinking of him stepping up into the senior squad alongside Sebastien Haller, who is currently the team’s only proven striker.
With Manuel Pellegrini’s senior squad facing a strange lack of striker options, Hammers fans are holding unto slim hope of seeing Odubeko unleashed in the first team look bleak, and his scoring form last weekend left them thinking they have finally found their lad for the near future.
However, while Odubeko hit the ground running on Saturday, debut just days after his long-drawn move from Manchester United was confirmed, his efforts paled by that of Veron Parkes, who scored a hat-trick, but the assistant coach still gave a word for the Nigerian-born kid.
Phillips said afterwards “All those times we’ve missed chances in the last six weeks came to the fore in this game – and take a look. Parkes was brilliant – all three of his goals were clinical, none of them tap-ins – and Mipo led the line really well. Although our opponents lost their discipline, we have to be pleased. We played well, and it was a good all-round team performance.”
Speaking of his thoughts in joining The Hammers, Odubeko, who scored 35 goals with Man United and netted on his U18 Premier League debut last season, said he is looking forward to making an impact with the London club and declared that he is quite happy to continue his development at West Ham’s Academy of Football.
“It’s a really exciting day. I’ve been waiting for this move for a while, so I’m looking forward to getting started. West Ham is a club with a lot of history behind it. It promotes its young players, so it’s a great opportunity for me to develop my game and help the team. I’m looking forward to moving to London – it’ll be a little different to Manchester, so it’s an exciting challenge,” he said.