COMMENT By Dominic Toner
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic should give Ashley Fletcher a run of games in the starting line-up.
The 21-year-old was one of the few players who delivered a positive performance on Wednesday night against Manchester United.
The Hammers were eliminated in the EFL Cup quarter-finals at Old Trafford, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Anthony Martial scoring a brace each in the comfortable 4-1 victory.
Fletcher was the goalscorer for West Ham and he showed great forward instincts to capitalise on a rare David De Gea mistake.
The youngster was left isolated as he spearheaded the attack, but caused problems for the United defence all game and showed great desire.
He has started just one Premier League game this season and Bilic must now turn to the striker.
West Ham’s loan signings of Simone Zaza and Jonathan Calleri have both looked below par, with the pair still searching for their first goal for the club.
Striker Diafra Sakho faces a six-week spell on the sidelines with a thigh injury, while Andy Carroll is still yet to return from his knee injury.
Fletcher completed his move to the Londoners in the summer from Manchester United and has been restricted to mostly substitute roles so far.
The Englishman enjoyed great success last season on loan at Barnsley, scoring nine goals in 26 appearances as the club were promoted from League One.
He opened the scoring in the play-off final and proved that he is a player who can rise to the occasion.
West Ham are currently just one point above the relegation zone and Fletcher’s goals could be the solution to help them climb the Premier League table.
In other West Ham news, the club’s supporters reacted on Twitter to Zaza’s performance against United.