For West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini right back Ryan Fredericks’ return from injury can probably be classified as better late than never.
However, the Chilean will still be delighted to call upon the former Fulham man’s services over the second half of the season.
Hammers news source Claret & Hugh reported on Wednesday that both Fredericks and attacker Javier Hernandez are back in full training and available for selection against Arsenal on Saturday.
The recovery of both of those players is a huge boost to Pellegrini moving forward, but Fredericks’ appears particularly important when you look at the Christmas period for West Ham.
The team did well, there’s no doubt about that, but on more than one occasion Pellegrini was forced to play winger Michail Antonio at right back in order to give veteran starter Pablo Zabaleta a rest.
With Fredericks back in the frame the former Manchester City boss will always have a natural full back to turn to on the right hand side of the defence.
The 26-year-old’s return also hands the player a chance to save a Hammers career that was going nowhere fast prior to his injury.
Fredericks had only played a handful of games for the Cottagers before being struck down, but he’d already managed to perform so poorly that he’d lost his starting spot to Zabaleta.
The Argentine has been excellent this season, so it wasn’t all down to Fredericks’ poor form, but there’s no question that he struggled after his move across London.
Now that he’s back in the fold he has an opportunity to show everyone why he was brought to the London Stadium in the first place. He needs to perform well over the final few months of the season if he is ever to become a success in East London.
He’s back, he’s available, and he should be highly motivated. This is the time for Fredericks to press his claim for a starting spot and show Pellegrini what he’s all about.