West Ham United not only suffered another defeat against Burnley last Saturday, stretching their run to no victories in their last seven games in all competitions, but they sustained two damaging injuries.
Manuel Lanzini went down with a worrying problem, while captain Mark Noble had to come off with an ankle issue as well. The Hammers’ official website delivered an update on Sunday, stating that Lanzini has a fractured collarbone and will undergo surgery.
Meanwhile, Noble will have to undergo a scan on his ankle sprain before we know how bad his particular problem is. The good thing is we’re in the international break, which gives him time to recover, but who knows how long he’ll be out.
If he is in line for a long stretch on the sidelines, then Robert Snodgrass needs to be moved into a central midfield role alongside starlet Declan Rice.
The former Scotland international has undoubtedly been the Irons’ best player in recent weeks, scoring twice in his last three games despite the chaos that is going on around him at the London Stadium these days.
Furthermore, he is averaging 1.4 key passes and 0.9 successful dribbles per game. That demonstrates his offensive qualities, but we know from experience that he has the engine and the defensive chops to help out Rice in central midfield.
Manager Manuel Pellegrini has very few options to fill the Noble void. Carlos Sanchez has rarely started in the league since joining the club, while Jack Wilshere cannot be relied upon to stay fit. It would appear, then, that Snodgrass is the premier choice to replace Noble if the skipper faces sustained time on the sidelines.