The rise and rise of Hammers 19 year old Norwegian sensation Martin Samuelsen continued this week with his debut appearance for the full Norwegian side. Samuelsen came on as a second half substitute provoking the free kick that resulted in a winning goal for Norway as the game ended 3-2. Although Norway wont be competing at the Euros, they have a series of friendlies this Summer that can provide further opportunities for Samuelsen to shine.
Samuelsen has enjoyed an impressive first season at West Ham. After the action of the Europa League, he spent most of the season at Peterborough where he notched 20 appearances scoring two goals in the process. One of these came against our old mates at Sheffield United and understandably drew comparisons with a certain Mr Lionel Messi…take a look below!
Samuelsen also got to notch a trophy as he returned from the Posh to appear for the Hammers U21 side as they seized the Premiership title last month. Right now things look mighty positive but how will he fit into manager Slaven Bilic’s plans next season and how will West Ham accommodate the growing needs of their other rising stars such as Reece Oxford, Reece Burke and Josh Cullen?
With a talented squad already at his disposal and instructions to bring in some players who can immediately slot into our first team, Bilic has an embarrassment of riches. Oxford managed 12 appearances last term, but if the rumour mill is anything to go by, may be tempted elsewhere in search of more first team action. Burke and Cullen enjoyed successful loan spells at Bradford City.
All of which points towards the merits of taking the Europa League more seriously this year. These starlets need more experience while a glance around the rest of the team also raises cries for more first team action – Darren Randolph can only be kept on the sidelines for so long, the fact that James Tomkins couldn’t get a CB berth highlights the quality in defence.
In midfield, where Cullen and Samuelsen will be hoping to contribute, there is already has a host of top performers both creatively (Payet, Lanzini, Antonio) as well as in the engine room (Noble, Kouyate and Obiang).
Samuelsen is tall (almost 6’3″) pacey and has quick feet. He can play either centrally or out wide. This versatility will undoubtedly be an important asset as he tries to force his way into the first team.
He can also play a bit of guitar…maybe that will further endear him to our rock star manager!
Exciting times ahead. Let’s hope we can keep all these talented players on board and happy!