West Ham United must bite the bullet and look to sell Ryan Fredericks after reports emerged suggesting the right-back is facing an uncertain future following his omission from the matchday squad at Sheffield United.
According to Claret & Hugh, Irons boss David Moyes opted to name young full-back Ben Johnson among his substitutes for last Sunday’s 1-0 win at Bramall Lane after Fredericks developed a slight knock that prevented his involvement.
Moyes has not called on Fredericks to play a single minute in any competition since September’s 4-0 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers, where the 28-year-old was forced to be replaced early in the second-half after sustaining a hamstring injury.
The blow swung the door wide open for summer signing Vladimir Coufal to start at Leicester City and Moyes has never looked back since, with the £5.4million man now considered the firm first-choice.
Fredericks is only expected to be offered a recall should Coufal sustain an injury, but may also be sold in January or the summer to avoid losing the former Fulham ace for free with his £40,000-per-week contract expiring in 2022.
With Fredericks’ future at the London Stadium far from certain as Moyes edges in favour of Coufal, who has started all six available Premier League games, it is time for West Ham to bite the bullet and look to offload the Manuel Pellegrini signing as soon as possible.
Pellegrini was full of hope for Fredericks when the Chilean unveiled the full-back as his first signing in 2018, claiming the free transfer would provide the Irons with great qualities that would only develop in claret and blue.
“I am very pleased to welcome Ryan to West Ham United as our first signing this summer,” Pellegrini said, via quotes by the club’s official website. “He joins having had a successful season with Fulham and is a player who will bring great qualities to our squad.
“He 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. Ryan has good character, is hungry to succeed, and has shown me that he has great desire to be a West Ham United player.”
But West Ham supporters have struggled to see the qualities Pellegrini lauded, as Fredericks has been relentlessly plagued by injuries with an ankle problem sidelining the 28-year-old for 77 days and 14 matches in his debut season, while hamstring and shoulder issues ruled him out for periods last term.
Added to Fredericks’ constant injuries, Moyes is seemingly confident Johnson is now ready to step up and take on more responsibilities in the senior fold having named the 20-year-old on the bench at Sheffield United.
It was the fourth time this season that Johnson has featured in an 18-man league squad, though failed to enter the action like against Wolves when replacing the injured Fredericks or in West Ham’s three Carabao Cup ties prior to elimination at Everton.