Date: 5th December 2018 at 1:02pm
Written by:

OPINION

Michail Antonio’s return to an auxiliary right back role against Cardiff City on Tuesday night demonstrated that West Ham United need some help in that position in January.

Ryan Fredericks is currently out injured and, even if he returns to action in the New Year, he has failed to impress since joining from Fulham in the summer. Pablo Zabaleta, on the other hand, is 33 years of age and doesn’t have a long term future at the club.

Perhaps, then, the Hammers transfer supremo Mario Husillos should consider making a move for their former loan star Carl Jenkinson. The Arsenal man had two spells on loan in East London in the past, and Manuel Pellegrini should think about bringing him to the London Stadium on a permanent basis.

Jenkinson has shown himself to be a decent Premier League player, but he’s going nowhere at the Emirates Stadium. Successive managers haven’t fully trusted him and he will surely be looking for a way out of dodge in the near future.

West Ham would be a natural destination for the 26-year-old. The full back has lost his way in recent years but he remains a talented player who could certainly do a job for the Hammers.

Zabaleta may not be at the club beyond this season and even if he is he won’t be able to contribute week in week out at his age. Fredericks, on the other hand, looked ropey in the early goings this season and can’t be considered a solution on the right hand side of the defence.

Jenkinson would represent a known quantity who would be able to push Fredericks for a starting spot. Both men are the same age and having the two Englishmen competing for the position could bring out the best in both players.

Pellegrini needs to examine both full back positions because he doesn’t have a clear long term answer on either side of the defence.

Jenkinson could represent a decent option at right back, and West Ham should be seriously considering bringing him back to the club in January.