Fabien Balbuena and Arthur Masuaku have both returned to West Ham training, according to Football.London journalist Sam Inkersole.
The defensive duo have both been involved in international action this summer, with Balbuena representing Paraguay at the Copa America, and Masuaku reaching the last 16 of the African Cup of Nations with DR Congo.
Those duties have led to extended breaks, with both players missing the Hammers’ trip to China earlier this month, but Inkersole has revealed that both are now in training with their teammates.
Writing on his personal Twitter account, when asked about the pair, he said: “They were both back yesterday [Tuesday].”
This is excellent news for West Ham. You would probably expect Masuaku and Balbuena to both be first choice options for the Hammers next season, and the sooner they are back in amongst the action with their teammates, the better for Manuel Pellegrini. As far as opening days go, they don’t get much tougher than Manchester City, so the Chilean will need his back four on top form. Masuaku in particular hasn’t always been the most popular of figures in east London, but his form towards the end of last season was impressive, and he ended the campaign with impressive averages of 2.5 tackles and 2.4 clearances per match [Whoscored]. As for Balbuena, he was missed when he picked up a freakish knee injury midway through his debut year in England, but if he can recapture his early season form and continue to develop his burgeoning partnership with Issa Diop, he could prove to be a very important player for the Irons next term.