Hammers Face Right-Back Headache

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West Ham United’s rebuild under incoming manager Julen Lopetegui promises to be a substantial undertaking. The squad, burdened by its joint-Premier League smallest size and second-oldest average age, is in dire need of an overhaul.

Adding to the urgency are six players departing on free transfers this summer. However, there’s been a recent clarification regarding right-back Vladimir Coufal’s contract situation. Despite initial confusion, West Ham triggered a one-year extension in his contract, securing him until 2025.

While Coufal’s experience is valued, his age has become apparent on occasion. A significant portion of the fanbase advocates for signing a younger, energetic right-back to complement him. Coufal’s reported dissatisfaction with his current contract further strengthens this argument.

Fanning the flames of speculation, Coufal’s agent recently met with him in London. This coincides with reports of Lopetegui’s imminent arrival and West Ham’s undeniable need for a new right-back option. Letting go of Coufal, a dependable veteran, would necessitate acquiring two players for the position, placing a significant strain on the club’s finances, especially considering reinforcements needed in other areas.

Despite recent challenges, Coufal has proven his worth, contributing seven Premier League assists this season. He still remains somewhat of a cult hero amongst the fans. Whether his recent meeting with his agent signifies a potential departure remains to be seen. One thing is certain: the right-back position is a cause for concern for West Ham United as they embark on a new era under Lopetegui.

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  • Alan says:

    Why not pay Johnson a reasonable wage as he can fit the right back role and can also play midfield when called upon to do so.
    We should be looking at our best academy players more especially as finances are tight

    • Ken Paveley says:

      That’s the obvious solution, Alan, bur we’re talking West Ham here lol !

    • Gary says:

      Because he isn’t good enough

    • Eddie says:

      You don’t seem to watch the same football as me he can’t defend when in right back he leaves his corner exposed stands and watches his team mates try and retrieve the ball rarely heads the ball never a premiership player good at running with the ball but can’t do anything with it

  • TONY. S says:

    You are dead right Gary get rid. He is just an average championship player. But I hope and wish him the best in the remainder of his career

  • Hammerpete6 says:

    With respect, Tony, I don’t think it’s fair to judge him as wanting when he has never had three consecutive games under Moyes, usually just one game in, and then filling in in different positions, then back to the bench. Moyes did the same with Therer, centre half, right back, then dropped.

    • Hammeroo says:

      I’m with you on this, Hammerpete6. I think Ben Johnson is a very good player to have in the squad. He’s versatile and when he gets a chance he puts in a shift. But, as you say, he has hardly been given a chance at a run in the team. I still don’t understand why the club don’t offer him a decent wage. It’ll be our loss if he goes to another club.

  • Hammerpete6 says:

    Fair enough we all have different opinions, but it’s interesting that Premier clubs are showing interest in Ben, including Palace who smashed us and others recently. I just feel for him.

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