Following a disappointing start to the 2018/19 Premier League season that had seen Manuel Pellegrini alternate between Angelo Ogbonna and new boys Fabian Balbuena and Issa Diop in the middle of his usual preferred back-four system, it is the latter duo who have established themselves as the first-choice pairing in recent times.
The summer additions came close to keeping a clean sheet in the 1-0 defeat against Wolverhampton Wanderers earlier this month before Adama Traore’s injury-time goal, before they finally played their part in the east London outfit picking up their first points of the campaign on Sunday – an impressive 3-1 win at Everton.
Ogbonna isn’t the only other option that is able to play at the heart of the backline however, with Aaron Cresswell and Declan Rice both featuring in a three-man defence under former boss David Moyes last term, while Winston Reid is still an Irons player as well – albeit he is a long-term injury absentee.
We decided to ask West Ham fans to vote on our poll to see what they thought their team’s best centre-back partnership was out of Rice, Diop, Balbuena and Ogbonna, and the winner with 39% of the vote was – perhaps slightly surprisingly – Rice and Diop.
The London Stadium faithful obviously feel that the young duo could form a strong relationship there for years to come, although their minds may well have changed slightly following the performance of Diop and Balbuena at Goodison Park – they incidentally got 31% of the vote.