West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini is set to be missing six of his first-team stars for the first day of pre-season as a result of their international commitment, according to Football.London.
The news outlet claim that those who have been playing for their countries following the end of the Premier League campaign will be late in returning for club duty, with Declan Rice, Marko Arnautovic, Lukasz Fabianski, Fabian Balbuena, Pablo Fornals and Arthur Masuaku all playing on the international stage.
For the former trio, they will reportedly return a week after their teammates, who will be on a training trip to Switzerland, while the latter trio will be back towards the end of July, Balbuena playing in the Copa America, Fornals the under-21 Euro Championships and Masuaku featuring in the African Cup of Nations.
International fixtures always disrupt the pre-season plans of Premier League sides but it goes to show the quality that the Hammers have on their books to be missing six stars for the first day of training. All six of their absent talents are expected to be in and around the starting XI or matchday squad next season and with the exception of Fornals, Pellegrini knows exactly what to expect when they do come back. It is by no means an ideal situation for the manager but it should give Pellegrini the opportunity to have a look at some of the players on the fringes of the first team and judge what they might have to offer in the absence of their more proven counterparts. Pellegrini was not afraid to throw youngsters in the deep end when needed last season and so this is the chance for those promising talents to further stake a claim for more first team action.