West Ham United boss Manuel Pellegrini looks to have lost faith in former mainstay Fabian Balbuena.

Balbuena was hailed as a superb piece of business by Pellegrini and transfer chief Mario Husillos last season.

But the Paraguayan has barely had a look in this term.

Balbuena forged what looked a promising partnership with Issa Diop last season.

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Not so Fab anymore

Balbuena started the season opener against Manchester City which the Hammers lost 5-0.

He was immediately dropped and replaced by Angelo Ogbonna.

The 28-year-old was given a chance in the Carabao Cup but was part of the team battered 4-0 by Oxford United.

Pellegrini is said to prefer his left-sided centre-back to be left-footed, like Ogbonna.

Photo by Robin Jones AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images

Report claims Pellegrini wants new centre-back

Now a new report from Claret and Hugh claims Pellegrini is looking to sign another central defender in January.


The Hammers site, which claims to have a top level source inside West Ham, reports: “We understand too that the manager is continuing to look for players in that area of the squad along with central defenders in the January window.”

That would suggest Pellegrini has lost faith in Balbuena.

And indeed it may mean he has also given up hope of Winston Reid resurrecting his Hammers career any time soon.

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Has manager lost faith in former mainstay?

Issa Diop is a a guaranteed starter.

And if the situation gets desperate Declan Rice can also drop in when needed.

Now it just remains to be seen whether Pellegrini is given the money needed to bring a new central defender to the club in January.

The Hammers were heavily linked with a move for Pellegrini’s fellow Chilean Guillermo Maripan in the summer (The Sun).

But in the end the former Alaves defender moved to Monaco. So the manager’s attentions will shift elsewhere come the winter window.

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