Since making his debut for West Ham United’s senior team in November, teenage striker Divin Mubama has been displaying an impressive knack for finding the back of the net. With Gianluca Scamacca currently sidelined due to a knee injury, Mubama may now have an even greater opportunity to earn additional minutes on the pitch with the first-team.
West Ham United are very unlikely to see £30.5million striker Gianluca Scamacca in action until next season, with the 24-year-old set to undergo knee surgery.
It has been an injury-filled season for the Italian international, who to date, has already missed 13 West Ham matches this term in all competitions through a combination of injury and illnesses and is set to West Ham’s final nine Premier League matches this term, and between one and four more from the Europa Conference League.
West Ham currently has a senior squad with only 22 players, which is just two more than the permitted number for a Premier League match squad. Despite this, manager David Moyes has not hesitated to include academy players in matchday squads to make up the numbers when needed.
Goalkeeper Krisztian Hegyi, who is the under-21s captain and the fourth-choice stopper, has been named in a Premier League squad, along with young centre-back Kaelan Casey and striker Divin Mubama.
In addition, left-back Ollie Scarles, centre-back Levi Lang, and midfielders Freddie Potts and Kamarai Swyer have all also received playing time for the senior team in various competitions this season.
West Ham’s academy is experiencing a highly thrilling season, particularly at the under-18s level. They have the opportunity to be crowned champions of the Under-18s Premier League South when they face Arsenal at Rush Green on Saturday afternoon.
Furthermore, they could also win the FA Youth Cup for the first time against the same opponents later this month.
For young striker Mubama, Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium holds a special place in his memory, as it is where he made his Premier League debut as a late substitute on Boxing Day.
Despite a six-week gap between his first-team debut against FCSB in the Europa Conference League, West Ham has only played three matches during that time.
However, that night in Bucharest proved to be a turning point for Mubama’s season. Prior to that game, he had only scored once in 12 matches combined for the under-18s and under-21s. However, since the 3-0 win, Mubama has found the net 29 times in 20 youth team matches, and once in his first four senior appearances.
Now, with West Ham facing the remaining nine Premier League matches in the next 37 days, as well as one to three European matches, they are in need of additional striking options as they are currently one striker down with Scamacca’s injury.
While Michail Antonio and Danny Ings serve as the team’s main strikers, options are limited beyond them. Maxwel Cornet has made occasional appearances in that role, but has seen limited playing time since his return from a calf injury that kept him out for over five months.
Manager David Moyes has expressed his admiration for Mubama on multiple occasions and holds a positive opinion of the young striker. Despite the challenges West Ham may face in Europe and the Premier League this season, Mubama’s impressive form has provided a boost to the team’s attacking options.
Mubama’s impressive performances at the under-18s level could soon earn him the title of regional league champion, with a potential win in the FA Youth Cup just around the corner. However, it’s his recent form and chances with the first team that may reward him even further.
The recent game against Gent showcased what the future could hold for Mubama. With only 22 senior players available in a 23-man squad, Mubama was called upon to complete the team.
In his four appearances for the first team so far, Mubama has made a significant impact. He played a crucial role in a goal against FCSB, with his header being turned in by Joyskim Dawa to make it 2-0.
In the match against AEK Larnaca last month, Mubama had only been on the pitch for a few minutes when he skillfully converted a back-heeled flick from Tomas Soucek’s header, a display of skill that would make any elite striker proud.