West Ham United are set to receive a welcome boost, following an update on the fitness of defender Vladimir Coufal.
According to Claret and Hugh, the 30-year-old will be in line to feature against Aston Villa later this week, despite having been forced off late on in the defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion at the London Stadium on Sunday.
The report suggests that the Czech Republic international was knocked unconscious in that disappointing 2-0 loss, although should be available for the trip to Villa Park next weekend, with a club insider stating: “He was concussed after being knocked unconscious. As a result it will be the stipulated six days before he can play again”.
That fact should, however, ensure that the full-back is absent from Thursday’s Europa Conference League, second-leg clash away at Viborg FF, albeit with the Hammers already firmly in control of the tie following their 3-1 victory at home last week.
Amid what is already proving a tricky start to the new season for the east London outfit, it will surely come as a welcome relief to manager David Moyes that Coufal won’t be out for an extended period of time, with the Scotsman likely needing all the help he can get to reverse the current slump.
Having won just one of their final seven league games of last season – with that solitary triumph coming against relegated Norwich City – the Irons have seemingly carried that form into the current campaign, having slipped to three straight defeats in the top-flight thus far.
As such, Moyes’ men currently find themselves at the foot of the Premier League table with five goals conceded and none scored as yet, with one key factor in that dismal opening having been the absence of key figures in defence.
Summer signing Nayef Aguerd could potentially be out until the New Year after undergoing ankle surgery, while the typically reliable Craig Dawson is yet to feature this season as he nurses a thigh complaint.
With veteran ace Angelo Ogbonna only recently making his long-awaited return from injury in the victory in midweek, the Hammers have been left desperately short of options at the back, even with the addition of Paris Saint-Germain man, Thilo Kehrer.
Losing Coufal for the clash with Steven Gerrard’s side on Sunday would have been yet another unwanted headache for Moyes and co, although the assumption is that the right-back should be to retain his place in the starting XI.
The £35k-per-week brute has been a hugely consistent figure at the club since joining from Slavia Prague back in October 2020, providing 12 assists in 74 games in all competitions thus far, with his involvement no doubt set to be vital as West Ham chase their first three points of the season.