Some eyebrows were raised when Ryan Fredericks was missing from the West Ham United squad at Sheffield United on Sunday.
Things have never really happened for Fredericks since he joined the Hammers on a free transfer from Fulham in 2018.
There has been the odd good performance along the way. But the right-back has proved too inconsistent and injury-prone for West Ham.
Mystery surrounded Fredericks absence
Fredericks showed signs of improvement this season.
But he lost his place in the side to new signing Vladimir Coufal, who has been an instant hit.
Mystery surrounded Fredericks’s omission from the West Ham squad for the victory over the Blades last time out.
The speedy fullback was pictured in training in the build-up to the game. And manager David Moyes did not report any issues ahead of the match.
That led to speculation Fredericks had been dropped from the squad altogether as Ben Johnson was named in the 18.
Insiders claim fullback was injured again and suggest he could soon leave Hammers
But Claret & Hugh have claimed he was in fact injured once again.
Although the insiders, who have close links to West Ham owners David Sullivan and David Gold, paint a bleak picture of his future at the club.
“We have learned that he (Fredericks) suffered a small injury that kept him out of the squad for the weekend’s clash with Sheffield United, as Ben Johnson was promoted to the substitutes’ bench,” Claret & Hugh said.
“Coufal is clearly the first-choice in the role and it means that the former Fulham star is only likely to play if the summer signing is injured.
“He has a contract that runs until 2022 and it means that the Hammers could well take the decision to cash in either in January or the summer, due to the risk of losing him on a free.
‘Expect to see him move on’
“If Fredericks cannot force his way back into the squad, expect to see him move on sooner rather than later.”
Fredericks possesses a key commodity for Premier League sides, pace.
But he often struggles to make good use of it when fit and playing.
At 28, Fredericks should be reaching the peak of his powers.
And he may well feel he has to leave to kickstart his career elsewhere – possibly with a Championship or newly promoted side.