When West Ham United midfielder Mark Noble picked up an injury in the 3-0 defeat against Burnley, many fans will have been expecting the worst at Turf Moor.
The influential skipper is integral in the heart of midfield for his side, and will Manuel Lanzini also being stretchered off in the game, the Irons could be without a number of options for an extended period of time.
That will leave Manuel Pellegrini only having Carlos Sanchez and Jack Wilshere as potential options to sit back in midfield, and it has been suggested that the Chilean could be forced into action in the transfer window.
Claret and Hugh have reported that the injury picked up by Noble could see Pellegrini recall Josh Cullen from his loan spell at Charlton Athletic in January.
The club source have claimed on their website that the Hammers’ captain is set to have a scan on his ankle on Monday evening, and that will reveal the extent of the problem.
Should that happen, it would condemn Sanchez to the exit, and the Colombian international could have no complaints given his lack of impact on the pitch since arriving.
Football Insider reported that West Ham were ready to sanction the winter exit of the experienced midfielder should someone meet their valuation.
The injury to Noble could give Sanchez the perfect road back into the side that he has been screaming out for after only featuring in the Carabao Cup this season.
Should a relatively untested 23-year-old get recalled in the form of Cullen, it would highlight the fact that Sanchez isn’t exactly trusted and Pellegrini would rather look elsewhere.
The 33-year-old has come off the bench three times this season and has yet to complete a single tackle, interception, block, or clearance in the Premier League [WhoScored].
Any recall for Cullen would all but condemn Sanchez to an exit, despite slim hopes he could come in and do a job in Noble’s absence.