West Ham sensation Perkins so good 'we're talking about the future of the Premier League' - Whelan
Noel Whelan has suggested a Premier League appearance could come soon for Sonny Perkins after his West Ham debut versus Rapid Vienna.
The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claimed the 17-year-old could star for the next 10 years in the English top flight.
Perkins came on with 12 minutes remaining as West Ham won 2-0 in Vienna on Thursday.
The academy graduate replaced Nikola Vlasic in Austria.
Whelan insisted it was great to see a youngster breaking through and suggested a Premier League runout may be around the corner.
When asked if Perkins could challenge for a first-team berth, Whelan told Football Insider‘s Russell Edge: “Absolutely, this is the future of the Premier League we’re talking about.
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“We’ve seen it at Leeds United with the players we have coming through, these are hopefully talents we are going to see for the next ten years – if they can maintain those levels and keep progressing.
“They need to be willing to train harder and keep a positive attitude, be willing to learn and respect everything they have in football – and see how far it can take you.
“Featuring in a game like that is exactly the sort of pathway those young players need. It will have been a great experience, European experience – hopefully his Premier League debut won’t be too far behind.”
Perkins earned his place in the senior squad following a hot streak for the Hammers’ youth sides this term.
Perkins has scored four in four for the under-18s and five goals in nine Premier League 2 appearances.