Conor Coventry has returned to West Ham from his loan spell with MK Dons and could be viewed as the long-term Mark Noble replacement.
The 22-year-old Hammers midfielder has impressed during loan spells with Lincoln City, Peterborough United and MK Dons respectively.
He’s now back at the London Stadium though and will harbour hopes of breaking into the first-team this season.
He certainly has a chance to do just that. David Moyes is incredibly light as far as his central midfield options are concerned.
Mark Noble has retired whilst Alex Kral will almost certainly be sent back to Spartak Moscow, leaving Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek as West Ham’s only two central midfielders.
Is he actually good enough to play regular Premier League football though?
Moyes has some big dilemmas on his mind this summer and what to do with Conor Coventry will certainly be one of them.
Conor Coventry the long-term Mark Noble replacement?
The Republic of Ireland under-21 international is 22 now.
The one thing that we will say is that usually it’s clear to see whether a player is good enough for the Premier League by the time they are 19 or 20.
There are some obvious exceptions to that rule – Jamie Vardy for example. They are few and far between, however.
And the fact that we are even asking the question about Coventry’s ability says a lot.
Mark Noble enjoyed a terrific career with West Ham. It must be said that he was unfortunate not to earn an England cap after some fantastic seasons captaining the Hammers.
Noble will be hugely missed at the London Stadium and not just on the football pitch. The 35-year-old had a monumental influence off the pitch and for that reason we believe that Moyes needs to be aiming higher than Coventry for Nobes’ replacement.
The 22-year-old is a good footballer. His passing is crisp and incise but in all fairness, he doesn’t really offer that much at either end of the pitch.
Conor may well go on to have a decent career. We strongly believe that he is not quite at the level needed to be playing Premier League football just yet though.
Coventry being the long-term Noble replacement sounds nice in theory. But sentiment aside, West Ham really should be aiming for better.