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West Ham new boy Silva looks for golden future after first start

PUBLISHED: 11:30 08 January 2019

West Ham United's Xande Silva (right) in action with Birmingham City's Wes Harding during the Emirates FA Cup, third round match at London Stadium.

West Ham United's Xande Silva (right) in action with Birmingham City's Wes Harding during the Emirates FA Cup, third round match at London Stadium.

PA Wire/PA Images

Hammers' Portuguese striker shows more potential than Toni Martinez

West Ham United's Marko Arnautovic celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the Emirates FA Cup, third round match at London Stadium.West Ham United's Marko Arnautovic celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the Emirates FA Cup, third round match at London Stadium.

Last season’s FA Cup third round saw striker Toni Martinez come off the bench at Shrewsbury to finally get a chance to show what he could do.

That didn’t turn out too well for the Spaniard who did not look the part and is now out on loan at Spanish second division side Rayo Majadahonda.

This time round, Manuel Pellegrini gave a first start to Portuguese striker Xande Silva and things looked much more positive.

Both players made big impressions for the under-23s, but it was 21-year-old Silva who seems to have the quality to make it at the club.

“I was told I was playing on Friday before training when I was in the gym,” revealed Silva after helping the Hammers to a 2-0 FA Cup win over Birmingham City.

“The coach came and talked to me and he told me I would play as a winger and for me to play how I train.”

He seemed to do that right from the start as he won the corner that led to the first goal after just a couple of minutes.

“The coach told us to start with good pace and we managed to do that and score. I felt good out there. I didn’t play for a long time as I was coming back from injury, but I was feeling good.

“I showed my ability to help win the game.”

He certainly did and he also went close to scoring his first goal for the club with a shot that flew over the bar.

“Yes, I thought it might be in,” smiled the Portugal youth international. “I say every game that I tried to score, and if I do not score I try again in the next game.

“I will hope to score in the next game.”

Martinez never managed it, but the former Sporting Lisbon striker looks more likely to achieve that if he gets the chance.

But like Martinez, that is the big question, will he get another chance to show what he can do?

“I am prepared to be patient and go back to play for the under-23s,” said Silva with excellent English.

“I am new here and I am young. When I was younger I wanted to play in the Premier League.

“Compared to the under-23s this was much more physical, the quality and the pace and intensity is much higher, but I enjoyed it out there.”

It is tough for youngsters to force their way into the senior team, but Silva is buoyed by the example set by a couple of others.

“I want to win a place in the first team,” he said. “Players like Grady Diangana and Declan Rice have won a space in the team and they are doing very well.

“I will just try to follow them and get my chance to show the coach that I can play with them.”

It is always tough for any young striker, but Silva seems to have the right attitude and will to succeed.

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