Having joined West Ham United on a free transfer back in the summer of 2018, it initially appeared as if the club had secured themselves something of a bargain on Ryan Fredericks – a 25-year-old right-back who had highly impressed for Fulham in the season prior.
Indeed, over his 44 Championship appearances in 2017/18, the £1.8m-rated defender was in remarkable form for the Cottagers, helping his side keep 14 clean sheets, registering seven assists and creating eight big chances for his teammates, as well as making an average of one key pass, 0.7 interceptions, 1.7 tackles, 2.6 clearances and winning 5.2 duels per game.
As such, Manuel Pellegrini’s comments upon the right-back’s signing may well have been echoed by many of the Hammers fanbase, with the Chilean manager stating: “Ryan has good experience, with more than 150 senior appearances already but, at 25, he is still a young player with his best years ahead of him.”
However, after handing the defender a four-year deal on a reported £75k-per-week, three and a half years on, the signing of Fredericks had proven to be something of a nightmare for West Ham, as the now-29-year-old never managed to ever truly establish himself as a first-team regular at the London Stadium.
Indeed, the player who Football.London’s Tom Clark claimed had a “shocker” in his last outing against Newcastle United has started just 44 Premier League games in three and a half seasons in East London – making a further 16 appearances from the bench.
Furthermore, over his three complete league campaigns for West Ham, the defender has earned well below-par seasonal SofaScore match ratings of 6.67 in 2018/19, 6.78 in 2019/20 and 6.75 in 2020/21, as well as averaging an extremely disappointing 6.27 match rating over his four top-flight outings in the current campaign – ranking him as David Moyes’ worst performer in the league.
As such, considering all of the above, in addition to the fact that Fredericks has cost the Hammers roughly £14.5m in wages over his 191 weeks at the club, there is, unfortunately, no conclusion to draw other than Pellegrini had a nightmare when signing the right-back back in 2018 – as the 29-year-old has been rinsing the Irons for the best part of four years.