Johnson signs new West Ham deal

West Ham United have announced via their official Twitter account that Ben Johnson has signed a new contract at the club until 2022.

Johnson made his debut for the Irons earlier this season, playing at left-back against Manchester City.

What’s the word?

The 19-year-old plays consistently as a right-back at youth level but was drafted in on the opposite flank to make his debut under Manuel Pellegrini.

He has now pledged his future to the club, having trained regularly with the first-team throughout 2018-19.

Johnson has made a total of 16 appearances for the club’s Under-23 side in Premier League 2 this season and has also played three times in the EFL Trophy.

Signed by West Ham when he was just seven, Johnson has been converted into a defender from a winger and has expressed his joy at putting pen to paper.

He told the club’s official website: “It’s great. First of all, I want to thank God for blessing me with this opportunity, to be playing football at this massive club.

“Extending my stay here is fantastic news for me and my family.”

The Academy of Football strikes again

West Ham have a fine history of bringing through the very best young players.

And Johnson could well save the club a fortune in the coming months.

The Hammers will need to replace ageing full-back Pablo Zabaleta this summer and they may already have the perfect candidate in Johnson.

He played well against City while out of position – he was only substituted due to an injury – and is clearly primed to step into the first-team whenever necessary.

Pellegrini may well have a gem on his hands and he can now shelve the plans that he may have had to invest heavily in the right-hand side of his defence.