West Ham’s pre-season trip to China is in full swing as the players trained in the heat. Various pictures showed Manuel Pellegrini putting his Hammers players through their paces in preparation for the new season.
During the trip to China, West Ham will take part in the Asia Trophy. On Wednesday, West Ham face Manchester City in the semi-final with a clash against Wolves or Newcastle lined up for the winner.
Pellegrini has named a 23-man squad for the tournament including two new goalkeepers David Martin and Roberto. Here are some of the best images from the first training session in China.
Aaron Cresswell returns
Aaron Cresswell is all-smiles as he returns to training. The England left-back has had numerous injury problems and missed the pre-season friendly against SCR Altach last week.
With Arthur Masuaku out of the squad (due to international commitments), Cresswell needs to show his form again. The 29-year-old is the only recognised left-back out in China.
Ben Johnson pushes Aaron Cresswell
Ben Johnson is one of the fringe players called into the squad to travel to China. He has been training in Nanjing, hoping to impress Pellegrini ahead of Wednesday’s match.
The 19-year-old made his debut against Man City in the Premier League (his only appearance to date). And in the absence of Masuaku and Cresswell, he started in the left-back role in the game against Altach.
Johnson had a mixed performance against Altach. For the majority of the game, he looked in control but he did slip up to allow the Austrian side to equalise. He needs to cut those errors out if he is to gain a permanent call-up to the senior squad.
Josh Cullen hopes for midfield role
Pictured here competing with Declan Rice, Josh Cullen is eager to catch the eye. The Republic of Ireland midfielder is back with West Ham after a promotion-winning campaign with Charlton Athletic.
Cullen is a talented midfielder but needs to prove he can step up two divisions and make an impact. The 23-year-old could save West Ham some money if he proves he is good enough.
In the background of this picture, you can see Carlos Sanchez and Pedro Obiang. Ironically, both of those will also be competing for the central midfield spot.