West Ham United U23s forward Xande Silva has been shortlisted for the Premier League 2 Player of the Month award for February.
The Portuguese attacker made a stirring comeback from his long-term lay-off last month, coming off the bench at half-time against Sunderland U23s to inspire his team to a dramatic turnaround on Wearside.
Moments after Mesaque Dju had levelled the scores at 2-2 with ten minutes to play, Xande picked up the ball, spun and fired home from 25 yards to put the Hammers ahead.
Two minutes later, Silva sealed matters, producing an exquisite turn out wide to drive into the box and set up Sean Adarkwa’s close-range clincher.
Silva subsequently started against Stoke U23s at London Stadium and netted his second goal in two games with an excellent solo goal from a tight angle.
I want to thank my teammates and the staff who helped me every day, and especially my family and friends who were always by my side
Of his nomination, Silva said: "I'm very happy to be nominated. I work hard every day to achieve my goals and that is what I will keep doing.
"It was a great feeling to be back on the pitch after 10 very difficult months, and now I’m just enjoying the moment.
"I want to thank my teammates and the staff who helped me every day, and especially my family and friends who were always by my side, being patient and encouraging me on that long journey back."
The recognition caps an excellent return to action for the Portugal youth international, who joined the Club in 2018 following promising spells with Sporting CP and Vitoria Guimaraes.
Silva went on to make his Premier League and FA Cup debuts the following season but was forced to undergo an emergency operation last summer, which led to his long-term lay-off.
The Premier League 2 Player of the Month nominees are compiled by the League’s Football Development Panel, after club coaches put forward the best performance by an opposing player in each of their PL2 matches over the course of the month.
The other nominees for February’s award are: Teddy Jenks of Brighton & Hove Albion; Tony Gallacher of Liverpool; Adrian Bernabe of Manchester City; and Oisin McEntee and Yannick Toure of Newcastle United.
Silva’s nomination for the Premier League 2 Player of the Month award marks the sixth such nod for an U23 Hammer this season.
Dan Kemp was nominated for August’s award; Anthony Scully won in September; Scully and Nathan Holland were nominated for October; and Holland won November’s, when teammate Bernardo Rosa was also nominated.
Silva and his teammates will be looking to make history next week when they visit Derby County’s Pride Park for West Ham's first ever Premier League International Cup quarter-final tie.
Following the showpiece fixture, they will resume their currently unbeaten Premier League 2 Division 2 campaign on Monday 16 March, hosting Swansea City at London Stadium. Kick-off is at 7pm.
Tickets are free for Season Ticket Holders and Claret Members. For non-members, they are priced at £5 for Adults and £3 for Over-65s/Under-21s. Click here to book.