West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini will give youngster Ben Johnson the chance to earn a dual role in the team next season, according to Football London.
The outlet claims that the Hammers boss will want to see this pre season whether the 19-year-old can command a reserve berth on both the right and left hand side of the defence.
The youngster is expected to push Aaron Cresswell and Arthur Masuaku all the way heading into the next campaign, having made his first team debut there against Manchester City last term.
Certainly, the starting right back spot would appear to be out of reach for Johnson in the immediate future. Ryan Fredericks is firmly established as the starter on the right hand side of the defence, while veteran Pablo Zabaleta signed for another year and is a capable back up for the former Fulham man. So Johnson is unlikely to get much of a sniff at right back next time out, in all honesty. However, the left back slot is a whole different matter. Pellegrini chopped and changed throughout last season as he failed to make a definitive decision on whether Masuaku or Cresswell was his main starter at the position. So if Johnson can come in and have a big pre season then he could definitely make an impression on Pellegrini. He was excellent when he played against City last campaign, so there’s no reason why he can’t come into the team and become a full time starter. For now, though, his versatility could see him play the utility man role with the Hammers.