Date: 11th January 2019 at 12:15pm
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OPINION

This season has not been the kindest to West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini in terms of injuries, with the latest case no doubt being a major blow.

Football London report that centre-back Fabian Balbuena will be out for up to two months after undergoing surgery on his knee – leaving Manuel Pellegrini with two fit centre-backs in the shapes of Issa Diop and Angelo Ogbonna.

Ogbonna is one name that the majority of fans would not want to hear being anywhere near the first team, but the boss has not really had any choice recently.

The 30-year-old can be incredibly poor defensively and can often make costly mistakes, which is why he must be replaced by Southampton defender Wesley Hoedt.

Sky Sports’ Transfer Centre [8.17am, 11/1] reports that Saints manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has told Hoedt that he is free to leave the club after falling out of favour recently.

This would be a very wise move by West Ham, as it would give them the perfect chance to offload one of their liabilities.

The fact that Hoedt has effectively been frozen-out by Hassenhuttl means that the 24-year-old will no doubt be looking for increased first team opportunities elsewhere, and what better place to do that than the Hammers.

Hoedt is currently on £60,000-a-week [Spotrac] at Southampton, so matching his wage would not be a problem for the Irons, as well as his possible transfer fee.

He is the perfect replacement for Ogbonna, and signing him will give Pellegrini a peace of mind regarding his defensive reinforcements.

Pellegrini would be onto a winner with a swoop for Hoedt, who has a total of 41 Premier League appearances during his time in the Premier League so far.

The ace has the potential to be a fantastic centre-back – he has shown signs of promise in the games that he has played in this season – and working under Pellegrini will give him that chance.