FRANCESCO BECCHETTI’S destruction of Leyton Orient has been heartbreaking to watch.
The club’s very existence is under threat due to his horrendous mismanagement, with a bleak situation for the players and staff.
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They are yet to be paid their wages from March and dedicated, long-serving staff members have been replaced for daring to request payment for their hard work.
A number of senior players have also been forced out of the revolving door at Brisbane Road, thrusting youth players into the club’s battle against relegation.
Whatever Becchetti does to the club, he cannot take away an amazing academy and some truly exceptional youngsters destined for big things…
They have performed admirably in trying circumstances – and while Orient are unlikely to stay up, these five teenagers offer real hope for the future.
Steven Alzate may have only recently broken through to the senior team, but he is one of Orient’s most technically gifted prospects in years.
Alzate is an attacking midfielder who can operate out wide, though he is most effective centrally.
The 18-year-old has a slight physique, but he uses his skillful dribbling and quick feet to weave his way through typically lumbering League Two defences.
He also has an eye for a pass and played a key role in the victories over Newport and Hartlepool, grabbing a goal and an assist in those games.
If he continues to develop, he appears to have the tools to progress to the higher reaches of the English Football League and possibly beyond.
Josh Koroma made his senior debut for the O’s just over a year ago, and his exposure to more minutes in the first team has accelerated his progression.
Koroma has often played as a winger, but his best performance so far came as a striker against Newport County.
Koroma’s blistering pace and direct running proved to be devastating, as the young O’s side tore the Exiles’ defence apart.
Koroma also showed his composure as he grabbed a hat-trick in that emphatic 0-4 victory and assisted the other goal.
That performance even earned him an In-Form Ultimate Team card on the video game Fifa 17, that’s an achievement for an 18-year-old and a first for an Orient player.
Myles Judd broke into the Orient first team as a regular in November and has made 21 appearances this term, impressive for an 18-year-old.
Orient’s defensive deficiencies are clear to see, but Judd has out-performed those around him who boast far more experience.
The young right-back’s tenacity and work rate have particularly stood out and he won the League Football Education Apprentice of the Year award for League Two.
Orient won’t receive many awards this season (not positive ones anyway), but Judd’s progress deserves recognition.
Unfortunately for the O’s, Judd has reportedly caught the eye of several league clubs.
Victor Adeboyejo has been under-utilised since making his debut in December 2014.
He has shown his talent from the bench on numerous occasions, but hasn’t often been rewarded with starts.
Adeboyejo’s physical strength and intelligent runs make him a real handful.
His ability to occupy defenders leaves space for his teammates and his strike partnership with Tristan Abrahams has looked promising.
The 19-year-old striker also displayed his poacher’s instinct against Hartlepool, grabbing his first senior goal for Orient.
It’s unsurprising that he has attracted interest from Championship clubs.
A prolific goalscorer for the youth team, Tristan Abrahams has scored more than 20 goals this season and although he has only made six senior appearances, he already has two senior goals to his name.
The 18-year-old is a well-rounded striker who possesses pace and intelligent movement, which has caused problems for opposing defenders.
He has shown real composure in his two goals so far, and he has combined well with Victor Adeboyejo.
These players have put up a valiant fight against the drop, alongside other talented youngsters such as Sandro Semedo, Sam Dalby, and Sam Sargeant.
Orient’s future remains uncertain, but these young players could be key in rebuilding the club.
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