Manuel Pellegrini has a few selection dilemmas on his hands after West Ham were blown away by Everton at the weekend.

West Ham need to improve if they are to mount a serious challenge for seventh place and Pellegrini could ring the changes for next Monday’s trip to Stamford Bridge.

And academy starlet Ben Johnson should be in contention for a first-team promotion again as Pellegrini weighs up how to solve the right-back conundrum.

The right-back problem

Pablo Zabaleta was at fault for Everton’s second goal. (Photo by IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images)

Since returning from injury in January, Ryan Fredericks has been the undisputed first-choice right-back at West Ham. The ex-Fulham man is a danger going forward and is solid defensively.

But he was completely missing from the matchday squad against Everton. Claret and Hugh claim that he has picked up a knock in training.

With Fredericks out injured, Pablo Zabaleta has been filling in. But the Argentinian right-back’s form has dipped in recent weeks.


The 34-year-old struggled against Everton’s pace and skill, showing that perhaps his best days are behind him and he is starting to decline.

This is where Johnson could be recalled to show West Ham fans a glimpse of the future.

Ben Johnson could be West Ham’s solution

Ben Johnson made his debut against Manchester City. (Photo by Tom Flathers/Man City via Getty Images)

Johnson burst onto the scene when he was handed a surprise debut by Pellegrini in the 1-0 loss against Manchester City at The Etihad.

The 19-year-old played out of position at left-back and held his own for just over an hour before injury forced him off.

Johnson has since signed a new long-term deal at West Ham and has returned to under-23 action after shaking off a minor calf injury.

But with Fredericks out injured and Zabaleta struggling, perhaps now is the perfect time to bring Johnson back.

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