Exclusive: Never-before-seen West Ham teen handed surprise promotion at Rush Green
West Ham rookie goalkeeper Joseph Anang has been promoted to first-team training ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash against Chelsea, Football Insider has learned.
The 19-year-old was pulled out of the Under-23s’ clash against Brighton and Hove Albion last night to prepare for this weekend’s top-flight match.
A West Ham source has told Football Insider that Anang’s shock promotion comes as Manuel Pellegrini weighs up making dramatic changes in goal.
Anang was heavily involved in training at the club’s Rush Green headquarters as the possibility grows he is fast-tracked in the team or onto the bench for the first time.
Pellegrini remained tight-lipped on the position of Roberto Jimenez at his media conference today but stopped short of offering him his backing.
The Spaniard, 33, has made a series of glaring errors while standing in for the injured Lukasz Fabianski and has shipped 14 league goals from six starts.
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Pellegrini has not yet decided who will keep goal in Saturday’s 3pm kick-off at Stamford Bridge.
One possibility is that Roberto is axed from the squad completely, with Anang promoted into the matchday 18 to join David Martin, who has been hitherto third choice since signing on a summer free.
The prospect of the third and fourth choice keepers fighting it out to start at the home of a Premier League giant is a major concern for Hammers supporters.
They have been extremely critical of Roberto, who was the subject of ironic cheers from his own fans at the London Stadium in last Saturday’s 3-2 defeat to Tottenham.
Anang, 19, plays regularly for the West Ham Under-23s and his only senior experience has come in the EFL Trophy, albeit not for the first team.
He is still waiting for his first XI debut after graduating from the club’s youth ranks.
In other West Ham news, it can be REVEALED that the club’s new first choice is “VERY KEEN” to land the manager’s job.