There was a time not too long ago when Winston Reid would have been the first name on the West Ham team sheet.
The New Zealand international was understandably a mainstay of the Hammers’ backline; an imperious leader willing to throw anything and everything in the way to prevent his side conceding.
The 6’2″ colossus [Transfermarkt] was a huge part of the Irons on-field presence, but he has been sidelined for some time now with a knee injury, and it’s difficult to see how he can hope to ever really regain the status that he once had.
Reid is 30 now, and with a big summer expected at the London Stadium, he could easily be shown the exit door.
Last summer Manuel Pellegrini brought in Issa Diop and Fabian Balbuena, both of whom have impressed a lot during the first year in the English game.
The duo have formed a very decent partnership at the heart of defence, and even when the Paraguayan was out for a large part of the season with a knee injury, it was Angelo Ogbonna who came in and deputised to increasingly fine effect.
There is still a place for Reid in this squad, but given his age and injury record, that could only feasibly be as a back-up option.
Would a player of his talents be happy with that? Very probably not.
It’s a sad reality, but Reid’s days in East London must surely be coming to an end.
When all is said and done, that might not be the worst thing in the world.