West Ham defender Ben Johnson will return from injury later this month, according to Football London.
Johnson has been out with a hamstring injury, although the club have kept quiet about his absence. The talented teenager will hope to return after the international break to boost Manuel Pellegrini’s options.
This season has been frustrating for Johnson so far. The 19-year-old has not played since August with a hamstring problem keeping him out of the U23 squad. But now he is on the road to recovery.
Johnson is not likely to feature for the U23 team in the EFL Trophy on November 13 but he will be targeting a comeback in the Premier League 2 at the end of the month.
Ben Johnson to oust Pablo Zabaleta?
Johnson’s return will be a major boost for West Ham, who are struggling at the moment. Ryan Fredericks and Pablo Zabaleta are currently jostling for the right-back spot but Johnson adds an extra option.
Zabaleta has been recalled for the past two games and has struggled to cope with the pace of the Premier League. Johnson’s return could allow Pellegrini to slowly faze Zabaleta out.
The 34-year-old is entering the final few months of his contract and he is on his last legs at West Ham. Fredericks should be the first-choice right-back with Johnson in reserve. Johnson’s return to fitness could potentially be bad news for Zabaleta’s hopes of playing time this season.