For a long time now, pretty much uninterrupted since the start of last season, there has been a debate over who West Ham United’s starting right back should be.
However, after Ryan Fredericks’ effervescent performance against Crystal Palace on Saturday, that discussion is surely at an end. The unheralded former Fulham man was the Hammers’ shining light in their 2-1 defeat at the London Stadium.
It was a disappointing display from Manuel Pellegrini’s side as a whole, but Fredericks is someone who must surely escape the brunt of the criticism after putting forth a tremendous personal effort.
It was the 26-year-old who helped West Ham make their first half breakthrough, bursting into the box and delivering a cross that simply begged striker Sebastien Haller to get on the end of it, which he duly did.
Sometimes you can get frustrated watching Fredericks play because you feel that he doesn’t utilise his electric pace well enough in an attacking sense. However, there was no lambasting him for that against the Eagles.
The statistics tell you everything you need to know about just how effective the Englishman was when bombing forward. As per WhoScored.com, Fredericks had 71 touches of the ball on Saturday, more than Declan Rice, Andriy Yarmolenko, Manuel Lanzini, Mark Noble and Haller.
Furthermore, the right back recorded a stunning total of four key passes. No other West Ham player made more than one. He was undoubtedly the main source of creativity for the Irons against Roy Hodgson’s side.
Defensively he was solid, as well, making three tackles and a block.
After this display there is no more debate to be had. Pablo Zabaleta’s name need not come up apart from when discussing FA Cup games. Fredericks is the main man in east London now.