West Ham United defender Angelo Ogbonna gave the club’s fans a reminder of his quality in the team’s 3-1 win over Cardiff City on Tuesday night.
The Italian was making just his third Premier League start of the season against the Bluebirds and his first since the Fabian Balbuena-Issa Diop partnership really cemented itself at the London Stadium.
Despite the rustiness he produced a fine performance alongside Diop in the heart of the Hammers defence. He looked comfortable throughout and was never really worried by the top flight minnows.
The former Juventus man is now very much a back up centre back for West Ham, but there’s value in that. You need good players to fill in when your starters have slight knocks, as Ogbonna did for Balbuena at the London Stadium.
Having success in the top flight requires a strong squad and lots of depth, players like Ogbonna supply that and they shouldn’t be needlessly thrown away.
There are probably many Hammers fans who are pretty blasé about the 30-year-old, but he plays an important part in East London.
We have already heard whispers about big clubs swooping in for Diop, and if he were to leave at any point Ogbonna would be needed to step up and fill the void.
Nobody is saying that the Italy international is a world class centre half, but he is always a solid contributor and he gets the job done whenever he is called upon. Manuel Pellegrini obviously trusts him to come in and play well, and West Ham fans should appreciate that.
He has rarely featured this term but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a part to play at the club. In fact, he is an important member of the Hammers set up and should be kept at the London Stadium for the foreseeable future.