West Ham United manager David Moyes waxed lyrical over the performance of youngster Jeremy Ngakia in the 3-2 defeat to Liverpool on Monday night.
The Hammers boss had his hands tied in the right-back position for the trip to Anfield, after regular holder of that position Ryan Fredericks picked up an injury against Manchester City last week.
That left him with a choice to make between West Ham right-back Pablo Zabaleta, who came on for the former Fulham man at the Etihad Stadium, or Ngakia, who had previously impressed in his outings in the first-team.
He went with the Hammers youngster and was suitably rewarded, with the 19-year-old producing a performance beyond his years, with his athleticism helping to keep a dangerous Liverpool attack relatively quiet.
Moyes was unable to hide his delight with the West Ham academy product after the match, offering a glowing assessment of his display.
“Jeremy was terrific.” Football.London quote him as saying.
“I have to say, he’s played two first team games and both of them against Liverpool and I thought tonight he was fabulous.
[Sadio] Mane has been as good as anyone in Europe, would give any top full back a run for his money and I thought that young Jez did a great job on him. Sometimes you put the young boys in and they give you great hope.
Very good, he was.”
Fredericks looks set for an extended spell on the West Ham sidelines, so there is a longer term position up for grabs in the side, and Ngakia certainly did his hopes of being the man to fill it no harm with his display at Anfield.
The Hammers are next in action on Saturday afternoon, when they host Southampton in a match the Londoners have to win, and all eyes will be on the team sheet to see if the youngster did enough to keep his place.