Nathan Holland – the next big name?
Author: Emily Pulham. Published: 18 May 2019 at 8:00pm
Written by: @karenbeardy
Recently, 20 year-old Nathan Holland signed a new contract keeping him at the London Stadium until 2022.
Upon his arrival in East London from Everton back in January 2017, Holland was considered to be one of the most promising wingers the club had on its books and the talented youngster soon showed why the scouts had identified him. Playing in the U23s, then captained by Declan Rice, and alongside established youth players such as Marcus Browne, Joe Powell, Dan Kemp and Moses Makasi, Holland impressed and quickly pushed on ahead of some of his peers; he was the one (aside from Rice) tipped to break through to the first team first.
Making his debut from the bench during a league cup match in September 2017, this view certainly seemed to be the case. However, in October 2017, Holland suffered the first of two relatively long term injuries, this one keeping him out of the game for three months. Returning in March 2018, he quickly re-established himself back in the squad and Holland was once again a regular on the team sheet.
The beginning of the 2018-2019 season saw Holland again impress on the wing in the initial few games of the season for the U23s, but this was short lived as another injury meant Holland was out of the game, on and off, until March of 2019. However, since then he has played the full 90 in every game.
For Holland these injuries could not have come at a worse time. With the arrival of Manuel Pellegrini came the opportunity for the senior U23s to join the first team at their training ground, giving them the chance to impress the boss first hand. This gave the manager the perfect insight into these players and lead to first team debuts in the Carabao Cup handed out to Conor Coventry, Joe Powell and Grady Diangana – the latter two being involved in two of the goals in the 8-0 win – assists by Powell and scored by Diangana. Had Holland been fit, he would almost certainly have been selected too.
So, what next for Nathan Holland? Being offered a new three year deal shows the belief those at the club have in Nathan Holland, and anyone who has watched the last few U23s games that he has played in, will know just how talented he is. He is pacy, selfless and accurate in his deliveries – qualities every West Ham fan loves.
With Pellegrini’s belief that age is irrelevant, there is an almost certainty that if he continues to develop at his current rate and remains fit, he will be given the same opportunities as the other big talents at the academy.
Whether this then results in a loan spell to continue his development, as has been the case for Marcus Browne and Joe Powell, or he remains in and around the first team squad – and with limited natural left wingers in the first team squad, this is a real possibility – the future for Nathan Holland looks extremely bright.