West Ham United’s excellent 1-1 draw against league leaders Liverpool on Monday night was notable for several reasons.

It stopped the rot for the Hammers who have seen their season falter of late.

The point also meant Manuel Pellegrini’s side are one win off eighth place and two off a potential European spot.

There were lots of positives for the East Londoners against Jurgen Klopp’s side.

But for one player in particular the game could prove to be a watershed moment.

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Fredericks transfer marked new era but he has struggled

When West Ham snapped up Ryan Fredericks on a free transfer in the summer it signalled a sea change for the club.

He was the first signing of the Pellegrini era. Here West Ham had signed a young, super fast and highly rated player to solve their problem right back position.

The signing was followed by another nine as West Ham splashed out £100 million on new players.

There were flattering comparisons with Kyle Walker. Indeed a potential future with England was even mentioned.

Fast forward half a season and Fredericks is probably the player who has disappointed West Ham fans most.

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A watershed moment for right back?

Nervy and erratic, Fredericks struggled badly and then spent two long spells out injured.

He became something of a forgotten man with the ever dependable Pablo Zabaleta unwavering in his consistency.

 

The fleet-footed Fredericks was a surprise inclusion against Liverpool.

In fact if there was a straw poll of West Ham fans before the game many would have highlighted the former Fulham man as a major weakness.

And true to form that’s how Fredericks started against the Reds.

Caught out of position on a couple of occasions, he nearly cost the Hammers a goal.

He looked nervous again and ponderous in possession. But it all changed after one crunching challenge.

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Zabaleta the master and Fredericks the student

From that moment the 26-year-old grew into the game. He was focused, pumped up and solid as a rock thereafter.

And when the whistle was blown on 93 minutes he was many supporters’ man of the match.

This should be a watershed moment for Fredericks’ West Ham career.

And he has possibly the very best teacher alongside him in Zabaleta.

In fact the Argentine veteran would almost certainly have had a big hand in helping him improve in their short time together already.

A new beginning for Fredericks has come at the perfect time with Zabaleta in his swansong and that can only be good news for West Ham.