West Ham United have been handed a huge injury boost concerning centre-back Craig Dawson.
That’s according to ExWHUemployee, with the club insider revealing on a recent episode of The West Ham Way podcast that, having missed all four of the Hammers’ fixtures in the 2022/23 campaign as a result of a thigh injury, the 32-year-old is finally nearing a return to first-team football – and could even be included in the matchday squad for the trip to Aston Villa this weekend.
Regarding the current condition of the centre-back, Ex said: “Craig Dawson is getting nearer to a return. There’s a possibility he could be back in training this week, so if he is there is an outside chance he could be on the bench for Villa but I think he’s certainly in line to recover in the next couple of weeks.”
Considering how poor West Ham have been defensively so far this season – having shipped five goals in three league games – coupled with how impressive Dawson was in the heart of David Moyes’ backline last term, the news that the former Watford defender is nearing a return to action is sure to have left the 59-year-old manager buzzing.
Indeed, over his 34 Premier League appearances in 2021/22, the 32-year-old was in imperious form, helping his side keep five clean sheets, scoring two goals and providing two assists, as well as making an average of 0.9 interceptions, 0.9 tackles, 4.1 clearances and winning 4.1 duels – at a success rate of 56% – per game.
These returns saw the £43k-per-week stopper average an extremely impressive SofaScore match rating of 6.94, ranking him as Moyes’ joint seventh-best performer in the top flight of English football last time out.
And, while it would appear as if the £2.7m-rated centre-back will not be available for selection in Thursday’s Europa Conference League qualifying second-leg tie against Viborg, with the Hammers boasting a comfortable 3-1 lead on aggregate, Dawson’s absence will not likely be overly troublesome for the club.
However, with three points being an absolute must for the Irons at Villa Park this Sunday with the Hammers sitting bottom of the league, Dawson’s return to Moyes’ 20-man matchday squad would undoubtedly come as a huge boost to the Scot – who will be desperate to see his side pick up their first points of the season against Steven Gerrard’s outfit.