West Ham veteran Pablo Zabaleta spoke exclusively to the the club’s official website, and admitted that he is more than happy for Ryan Fredericks to be playing ahead of him.

The 34-year-old is all set to leave the Hammers at the end of the season. He has been a fine servant for the east London outfit, since joining them in the summer of 2017.

Zabaleta, who earns £75,000 per week according to Spotrac, has seen Ryan Fredericks jump ahead of him in the right-back pecking order this season.

Aston Villa v West Ham United - Premier League

Pablo Zabaleta (Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

The former Fulham man is younger than the Argentine, has more pace and energy, and seems to be more suited all-round to the intensity of the Premier League.

And the former Manchester City defender told West Ham’s official website how he is more than happy with playing second fiddle to Fredericks:

 

“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.”

West Ham United v Norwich City - Premier League

Ryan Fredericks (Photo by Arfa Griffiths/West Ham United FC via Getty Images)

Zabaleta could get his chance on Sunday…

Fredericks has actually been in fine form this season, so it is hard to see Zabaleta being picked ahead of the Englishman anytime soon.

The South American might get a chance to play against Manchester United on Sunday, however. Arthur Masuaku is suspended, whilst Aaron Cresswell is out of favour with Pellegrini.

Zabaleta is always reliable, but he might be in for a tough afternoon against United, if he does indeed play, what with the pace and power of their attack.

Pellegrini knows that he can trust the experienced defender, however. He is a top professional if nothing else, and his wealth of experience should help him make up for his lack of pace.

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