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West Ham boss could throw teenager Nouble into Arsenal FA Cup clash

PUBLISHED: 15:27 30 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:25 05 October 2010

WEST HAM teenager Frank Nouble looks set to lead the line for the Hammers against Arsenal in the FA Cup on Sunday.

WEST HAM teenager Frank Nouble looks set to lead the line for the Hammers against Arsenal in the FA Cup on Sunday.

Gianfranco Zola's men host the Gunners at Upton Park in the third round and with Carlton Cole and Zavon Hines both injured and Guillermo Franco suspended, the 18-year-old could be thrown in at the deep end.

Zola does have Italian Alessandro Diamanti at his disposal, but the Hammers boss has tended to deploy him as an advanced left midfielder.

The former Chelsea and England under-17 international has made six league and cup appearances for the Irons this season, all off the bench.

Armed with power and pace Nouble was Chelsea's leading scorer in the FA Premier Academy League in the 2008-09 season, netting 12 times in 20 appearances.

With Zola undecided on Diamanti's best position, the young gun from Lewisham could step into the fray.

"I did think of playing him (Diamanti) as a second striker, but it is not his best position. His best position is coming from behind where he can use his skills," said Zola.

"Obviously I have to think about Diamanti and I have to think about the balance, that's why I'm playing him as a left midfielder or a left striker. He is improving.


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