There’s nothing like sons of former players appearing in the first team to make you feel a bit old.
Then you look at their date of birth and find that they were born in the 90s and achieved more by their 18th birthdays than you’ve done in your entire life. Take Dan Potts for instance – young, talented and playing for his local Premier League club, which is all great news, but Potts hasn’t had a smooth run in his short career. Could this be the season that he gets his chance for a more regular slot in claret and blue?
Potts, of course. is the son of former Hammer Steve Potts. Little did I know when I met Potts senior at the age of 10 that I’d be writing about his son putting After battling Lukemia taking Cresswell’s place is nothing Dan Potts Brave Dan Potts has beaten tougher challenges in his life already on a Hammers shirt 16 years later. It’s probably because of my training ground encounter with Steve that I took a shine to Dan when I was watching him at Development Squad level.
To pen a brief history of young Potts, he battled leukemia through his teenage years, and not long after he was given the all clear he was in reserve team action for West Ham United. That in itself deserves recognition above many of his peers. He then signed his professional contract at 17.
His first team debut came at home to Barnsley in a Championship fixture in 2011. This was the right time for Potts to come into the side and he showed experience beyond his years. In the following pre-season he continued to impress. I saw him play at Cork City and he was easily one of the stand-out players on the day.
As part of a strong Development Squad, he showed promise in defensive territories, but he was also good at turning defense into attack and running down the wing to ping in a cross or two. His spatial awareness always struck me as something that was better than some others in his position, which could have turned into a real positive for West Ham.
I honestly believe that his West Ham career would have been a lot smoother without the shocking concussion that forced him out of the tie with Arsenal in January 2013. From then on, his chances seemed fewer and far between through no fault of his own. That pretty much ended his season, and the following year he spent a month at Portsmouth, which probably did his confidence good and allowed him regular football.
The purpose of this loan wasn’t to put Potts in the shop window, it was to get him back up to speed with playing in a first team, which is a good sign for a youngster. He is clearly a player that West Ham want to hang on to. Despite his youth, he seems to be the player to call on in times of need. The management don’t seem hesitant to call Potts up for an appearance when necessary, and it’s great to have a level headed player to fill a void.
Although his appearances are limited, Potts slots in well with his teammates on and off the field. He keeps his head down and works hard for a place, something that is all too rare in modern football. At the time of writing, he has made one first team appearance this season in the Capital One Cup and has played one competitive game for the Development Squad.
But to me, it doesn’t feel like he is forgotten, it always seems that he’s on the edge of first team action. Unfortunately for Dan, he now faces stiff competition from Aaron Cresswell, who is generally a fit and healthy player with few injury woes. Cresswell has impressed immediately at Upton Park , but there are still reports that Big Sam could look to strengthen the right back position with more signings before the end of the season.
I’ve personally got a lot of time for Dan Potts. I’ve enjoyed watching him grow as a player and I genuinely hope he is part of the set up for years to come. Though as you can probably sense by the tone of this article, my heart is probably ruling my head. Will Dan Potts get his chance this season? My heart says yes more in hope than expectation. My head tells me that although he is a well-respected part of the squad and has the potential to become a regular, signings and transfer rumors have not worked in his favor.
Maybe it will be good for him to go out on loan again to get regular first team minutes. The danger with that is that he will end up being loaned out to a Championship club and become indispensible. If the price is right, he could be sold and become someone known for being a ‘good Championship player’. Dan Potts has fought hard in his life to get to where he is today, and if in a few years time he is a regular player for West Ham, it will be well deserved.