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Hammers battle for key player

Vladi Coufal looks certain to get his chance against Rapid Vienna tomorrow night (Thurs) after losing it – extraordinarily – to young Ben Johnson.

This time last season that would have been unthinkable as the right back produced performances which, but for Tomas Soucek’s form, might even have seen him become player of the year.

But the rise of youngsters from the academy is a dream¬† now being fulfilled with some regularity and it’s easy to see why Jeremy Ngakia was allowed to move on to Watford .

Ben took his chance brilliantly when Vladi was injured with a groin problem but the Czech is now back to full fitness and will be determined to challenge big time in Rapid Vienna.

He recently signed a new deal until June 2023 with a two year option after some anxiety among fans and will be battling hard to re-win his place.

However, with Ben’s well known flexibility there’s no reason to believe they could both not be in the starting line up at times with the youngster playing left wing back.


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About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon