Date: 18th August 2019 at 8:00pm
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Fabian Balbuena did not start United’s clash against Brighton over Manuel Pellegrini’s concern over defensive flexibility, according to Claret and Hugh.

The club source revealed on their website that the Chilean wanted a right and left-footed partnership in the heart of his defence after were dismantled against .

Claret and Hugh reported on Sunday, that the Paraguayan international was fully fit for the game at the AMEX Stadium and is likely to return for the next game against .

Angelo stepped in to make his first performance of the season alongside Issa Diop as the Hammers struggled to a 1-1 draw.

It came as a surprise that Balbuena wasn’t in the starting 11 at first for West Ham, but when you consider the fact that the Hammers struggled immensely in pre-season and the opener against – maybe Pellegrini was forced to make a change. To use the fact that he was concerned over the flexibility of his options seems strange, after all, he surely can’t believe that having two defenders with the same strong foot, was the main reason his side was dismantled. The flexibility regarding defenders is mainly used when your side is in control of games and gives you more options when in possession of the ball. In both of their first two games this season, Pellegrini’s men have had their backs against the wall for the majority of each game – and Ogbonna didn’t exactly fill the fans with much hope over his performance against the Seagulls. What also makes you scratch your head, is the fact that it is believed that Balbuena will be straight back into the starting lineup in the next game, which definitely suggests that Pellegrini was not best pleased with how his experiment worked out on Saturday.