West Ham centre-back Aji Alese has all the ingredients needed to become a truly top-class defender and next season could be the making of him.
The 2022/23 season could also prove to be the time when he realises that he hasn’t got a future at the London Stadium.
The 21-year-old centre-back really impressed for West Ham’s under-23 team last season. He didn’t disgrace himself when he played for the senior team in the Europa League either. In fact, he looked more than comfortable.
Alese is incredibly strong in the air yet he is very quick along the ground as well.
Standing at 6ft 4in tall, Alese cuts a really imposing figure. The 21-year-old hasn’t put a foot wrong at youth level for West Ham and next season could be a huge one for him as he looks to make a step up to the next level at the London Stadium.
In fact, it could be make or break.
Next season a huge one for West Ham youngster Alese
It is common knowledge that David Moyes is in the market to bring a top-class left-footed centre-back to the London Stadium this summer.
The name doing the rounds at the moment is Nayef Aguerd and the Rennes ace is closing in on a move to West Ham by all accounts (The Daily Mail).
Meanwhile, Kurt Zouma and Craig Dawson have been magnificent for the Hammers. So Alese’s path to the first-team already looks tricky.
If Ogbonna is offered a new deal in the summer and returns to action next term, Alese will clearly have a seriously difficult task on his hands, if he is to play regular first-team football.
That leaves the 21-year-old with two options – either leave on loan or reach another level in pre-season and show Moyes what he’s made of.
The London born ace will be 22 this time next year. And if he hasn’t made an impression in the West Ham first-team by then, it might mean that he faces a bleak future at the London Stadium.
Perhaps a loan move away from West Ham will be in Alese’s best interest this summer.
Either way, the 2022/23 season will be very much make or break for him.