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The 15-year-old defender who could become the next West Ham academy star

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West Ham's U23s have stretched their unbeaten run under new lead coach Dmitri Halajko to 13 games after beating Valencia in the Premier League International Cup on Wednesday night.

West Ham have a knack of bringing through promising young centre backs and we can add Baptiste to the list.

Ajibola Alese is another, who has recently gone on loan to Accrington Stanley having emerged from the West Ham U18s, moving up to the U23s and continuing to kick on having trained with the first team last season.

At centre back, 15-year-old Jamal Baptiste made his U23 debut alongside U18 regular Harrison Ashby and 17-year-old Keenan Appiah-Forson in an extremely youthful defence.

To make a U23 debut eight years before he is no longer eligible to play for them is quite the achievement for teenager Baptiste, who could be the next bright young defender to make it off the production line at Chadwell Heath.

But it wasn't exactly a settled side that took to the field for the young Hammers and they offered a massive potential glimpse into the future with their line up.

Rice, now 20, is a senior England international.
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