West Ham United were dealt a huge blow in their FA Cup defeat to Manchester United on Tuesday night with Angelo Ogbonna sustaining an ankle injury.
That’s according to the Evening Standard, who note that the Italian centre-half is due for scans after twisting his left ankle while blocking a goal-bound shot from Anthony Martial 16 minutes into the fifth round loss.
Ogbonna let out a hellish scream while down on the Old Trafford turf, but was able to limp back to the dressing room time with the help of the Irons medical team after receiving treatment for quite some.
Moyes will fear Ogbonna facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines having seen the 32-year-old establish a strong partnership beside Watford loanee Craig Dawson in recent weeks, and turn in several pivotal performances to help West Ham contend for European qualification.
The Irons boss also lauds Ogbonna as an important part of his plans at the London Stadium, and confirmed that the former Juventus enforcer has sustained an ankle injury while speaking following Tuesday’s defeat.
“Angelo will be a miss because he has played very well for us. He is a player who has been in the team every game for us, he is important to us,” he said, via quotes by football.london.
The Manchester United affair was Ogbonna’s 25th start of the season across all competitions, having opened all 23 of West Ham’s Premier League games to date plus two of their FA Cup ties.
Moyes has only opted to rest the £4.5m-rated titan against League One side Doncaster Rovers in the fourth round of the FA Cup, as well as all three of his side’s Carabao Cup fixtures.
Moyes’ worst fears coming true and Ogbonna now facing a lengthy spell out of action may leave the West Ham boss with only two fit centre-halves for when his side host Sheffield United in the Premier League on Monday night.
Issa Diop came on to replace Ogbonna against Manchester United, but later became the first player in English football history to be substituted through the recently implemented concussion protocols.
The Frenchman was taken off at half-time following a clash of heads with Martial, to potentially leave Fabian Balbuena and Dawson as Moyes’ only fit out-and-out senior options.
That being the case will afford Balbuena a chance to step up and regain his place in the starting line-up, having fallen into the wilderness in line with Dawson’s progress and be linked with a potential Deadline Day move away from east London last week.
Balbuena had also been tipped to earn a new contract following his run in the side earlier in the campaign, but is now inside the final six-months of his £40,000-per-week deal and has not featured in the top-flight since December 27.
After starting 12 of West Ham’s first 15 league games, the £7m-rated defender has since been left an unused substitute on six occasions and omitted from two matchday squads, while also left on the bench at Old Trafford despite the injuries to Ogbonna and Diop.
Clearly, Moyes prefers a partnership of Ogbonna and Dawson at the back now, but that will likely not be the case against Sheffield United on Monday after the blows suffered in the FA Cup.