West Ham exclusive: Pundit drops verdict on double injury blow

West Ham exclusive: Pundit drops verdict on double injury blow

Speaking exclusively with Football FanCast, former England international Steve Howey says that the injury for Angelo Ogbonna will be a blow for West Ham United.

Ogbonna sustained a high ankle sprain during the first-half of the Hammers’ FA Cup defeat to Manchester United after a challenge with Anthony Martial on Tuesday night, and now faces a lengthy layoff.

David Moyes has confirmed that Ogbonna is meeting a specialist to assess the extent of the issue, but early signs are that he does not require surgery.

Can West Ham cope without Ogbonna?

Yes, but he’ll be missed

No, he’s too important

No, he's too important

When asked how much of a blow it will be for Moyes to lose his first-choice centre-half, given the relationship Ogbonna has built with Craig Dawson, but also his replacement in the same game, Howey told FFC:

“Well, it’s a blow. I think West Ham have done very well this season. Obviously, they had the lad [Tomas Soucek] that got sent off by Mike Dean, his cards been rescinded, so he’s back in the team.

“But, obviously, the two lads at the back, it’s always good when you’ve got that good understanding and a bond in a relationship with your partner back there. You can understand what he’s really strong at, what he’s kind of a little bit susceptible to, you can kind of read each other’s minds a little bit.

“So, obviously, it’s going to be a blow for them. It will be interesting to see who David puts in there, I’m sure he’ll have choices. But it’s a case of which I’ve said before, somebody’s injury or misfortune is another person’s fortunate break, and it’s up to them, if they are given the opportunity, is to take it with both hands.”

Moyes is refusing to put a timescale on Ogbonna’s rehabilitation, but accepts losing the 32-year-old will come as a huge blow as the defender has been ‘magnificent’ this season.

“First of all, I’d say it is a big blow because he’s been magnificent in the games he has played and his leadership has been really important to us as well,” Moyes said on Friday.

“I don’t have a timeframe [on how long he will be out for] just now and I wouldn’t want to put one on it either, even if I got it, because obviously we want to get him back quickly.”

Ogbonna had started all 23 of West Ham’s Premier League fixtures thus far this season while missing only the final half an hour of October’s 1-0 win at home to Fulham, when it was feared the 13-cap international had sustained a groin injury.

Diop has only opened one top-flight match since September and watched the Irons’ last 10 as an unused substitute, but is expected to be available to feature against Sheffield United on Monday.

AND in other news, West Ham may face added competition to sign a highly-rated 6 ft 7 titan

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