West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini has admitted that new signing Gonçalo Cardoso 'needs some more time' before he makes his debut for the Hammers.
The 18-year-old Portuguese centre-back was signed from Boavista for an undisclosed fee this summer, signing a five-year deal. He appeared for West Ham's Under-23's last week, playing 90 minutes as they trashed Reading 3-0 – but Pellegrini warned that he is not quite ready for West Ham's first team.
The Chilean revealed that Cardoso will not be in the first team for their Carabao Cup trip to Newport County on Tuesday, quoted by Football.London as saying: "Gonçalo is a young player who maybe needs some more time."
Cardoso was a somewhat surprising signing for West Ham, arriving late in the transfer window. Aged just 18, he had already made 15 league appearances for Boavista in the Portuguese top flight last season, all of which he started.
The Carabao Cup fixture against Newport could have been a good opportunity for Cardoso to get some first-team minutes for the Hammers, but Pellegrini has hinted that he needs more time with the Under-23's before he can make an appearance.
West Ham have had a somewhat underwhelming start to the 2019/20 campaign considering their substantial transfer outlay this summer. They were thrashed by Manchester City 5-0 at the London Stadium, before drawing with Brighton and Hove Albion and earning a solid win away at Watford.
One of those signing, Albian Ajeti, is likely to make his West Ham debut against Newport, according to Football.London. The Swiss international joined from Basel for £8m and has been included in the Hammers' last two matchday squads but has yet to make an appearance.