Winston Reid will be like a “new signing” for West Ham when he returns from injury, according to Paul Robinson.
The 24-cap New Zealand international completed 45 minutes for his country last week, and has featured for the Hammers’ U23s as he prepares to make his first team comeback following a knee injury that has sidelined him since March 2018.
And Robinson expects him to have a big impact when he does return.
Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “It’s always nice to see someone coming back after a long-term injury and I’m sure Manuel Pellegrini and West Ham will be delighted as they’re in a real rut of form and he’ll be like a new signing coming back into the team.
“He was a regular in the team before his injury and it is going to take him time to reach the levels he did previously, when you’re out for such a long time, you need to rehab properly which I’m sure he would have been doing over the last few weeks.
“And to get 45 minutes under his belt, it would have been a massive boost for him, but it’s still going to be a long road back.”
Having Reid back should be a massive boost for the Hammers but his return has to come with a caveat. The defender has been out for so long that he is bound to take some time to readjust. That means that his comeback must be met with patience and caution. The other fear, of course, is that he won’t reach the level he was at prior to his injury. Reid is the wrong side of 30 now, and having not played in a year and a half, there could be a fine line between rustiness and regression. If he can recapture his form, however, then the Hammers are in for a treat. This is a player whose Whoscored rating didn’t drop beneath 7.00 between 2012 and 2017, and who was easily one of the first names on the Irons’ team sheet prior to his absence. Here’s hoping for everybody’s sake that he can reach that form again, but it may not be as straightforward as Robinson suggests.