Mid-table mediocrity is again what West Ham are facing this season after failing to sustain their fight for seventh place in the Premier League. Fun, right? Well, at least there’s the summer transfer window to come…
Manuel Pellegrini’s £100 million overhaul of his squad in the summer has worked in some ways but the same old problems just keep on reoccurring for West Ham, namely in defence. Indeed, without the safe-hands of Lukasz Fabianski, it probably wouldn’t be dramatic to say that the Hammers would have found themselves in trouble at points this season.
Obviously, their defence have offered little to no resilience in attempting to keep the opposition out and that is an area the Chilean will surely be keen on revamping this summer.
The need for a number of new defenders is obvious but what if the Hammers already had a ready-made solution?
Ben Johnson was surprisingly brought into the first-team for the Hammers’ trip to Etihad back in February and although he marshalled Riyad Mahrez well, the 19-year-old hasn’t been involved with the team since.
He may certainly feel hard-done-by, especially as both Pablo Zabaleta and Ryan Fredericks have been far from consistent throughout this campaign. Despite him being far from the finished article, Johnson could eventually save West Ham a good chunk of money this summer, if they opted to use him in the remaining games this season.
West Ham know better than many clubs that when youngsters are given the chance, they can be influential, as Declan Rice and Grady Diangana have proven this season alone. Why not roll the dice again? It could pay off very well, considering his impact against City earlier in the campaign.
Terry Westley spoke of his pride in seeing the youngster handed a chance when he made his first-team bow and Johnson is understood to have caught the first-team boss’ eye during a training camp earlier in the campaign, so there doesn’t seem to be much sense in waiting about.
As a highly-rated defender in the youth set-up, West Ham should not be averse to using Ben Johnson, it an attempt to unlock his potential before thinking far more long-term next season.
How highly do you rate Johnson, Hammers? Excited for the future? Join the discussion by commenting below…
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