When Pablo Zabaleta came on against Aston Villa after Arthur Masuaku had been sent off, he was getting his first Premier League minutes of the season, as per WhoScored.
This is because having made 23 league starts last season, he has now been replaced by Ryan Fredericks as the club’s main right-back, with the 26-year-old playing every minute of the Hammers’ season so far.
Some players may be bitter about this type of scenario, but Zabaleta has shown his great attitude and professionalism when speaking about the man who usurped him:
Zabaleta on Fredericks: “As I said before the start of the season, I’m pleased to see Ryan play. He’s 26, he’s got the energy, he’s got the legs to play most of the games this season and I’ll be ready to play when he needs a rest or when the manager needs me.” pic.twitter.com/ETXJX9pybl
— West Ham News (@whufc_news) September 19, 2019
The Argentinian has announced that this campaign will be his last in the Premier League, as reported by The Mirror, having won the competition twice with Manchester City, also lifting the League Cup twice and FA Cup once, as per Transfermarkt.
His attitude has ensured that when Zabaleta does leave London Stadium, he will do so a very popular figure, as indicated by the responses to his comments, with someone even wanting the 34-year-old to return as a coach at some point.
A selection of Twitter reaction to the comment, including posts from impressed West Ham fans, can be seen below:
Model pro right there, coach West Ham.
— beshortdec (@beshortdec) September 20, 2019
Great attitude great pro
— paul green (@paulgee23) September 19, 2019
How can people not love Zaba? Terrific pro and a great attitude
— Michael Zdenek (@MichaelZdenek) September 19, 2019
Would love to see him here in a coaching role
When he hangs his boots up
— Richard (@Richardod64) September 20, 2019
— Gnat (@mattaw1982) September 20, 2019
great professional no wonder he is much loved.
— Helen Ludlow (@Ludders59) September 20, 2019
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