ExWHUemployee has dropped a promising injury update concerning West Ham United right-back, Ben Johnson.
What’s the latest?
In recent comments made on The West Ham Way podcast, the club insider revealed that, despite missing out on the Hammers’ recent 2-1 win over Everton due to a tight hamstring, the 21-year-old could be in line for a return to David Moyes’ matchday squad for the visit of Olympique Lyon in the Europa League on Thursday evening.
Regarding the current condition of the England U21 international, Ex said: “Ben Johnson felt his hamstring a little when he was playing for England’s U21s and he trained on Friday and Saturday. But, at the end of training, he spoke to Moyes and said it felt a little bit tight. Hopefully, he’ll be available to start the Lyon game.”
Are you confident of a result against Lyon?
Moyes will be buzzing
Considering how impressive Johnson has been for West Ham in the current campaign, the news that the right-back’s injury is nothing too serious, as well as Ex’s claim that the 21-year-old could make a return to first-team action in what is undoubtedly the Hammers’ biggest game of the season this Thursday, is sure to have left Moyes buzzing.
Indeed, over his 16 Premier League appearances this term, the £8.1m-rated defender has excelled on the right of the Irons’ backline, scoring one goal, creating one big chance and helping his side keep three clean sheets, as well as making an average of 1.3 interceptions, 1.8 tackles, 2.5 clearances and winning 3.2 duels – at a success rate of 53% – per game.
These returns have seen the £19k-per-week dynamo average a highly impressive SofaScore match rating of 6.90, ranking him as West Ham’s best performing right-back – ahead of both Vladimir Coufal and Ryan Fredericks – as well as the club’s 11th-best player overall.
However, it was over the 2-1 aggregate victory over Sevilla in which Johnson really caught the eye, with the 21-year-old making a total of seven clearances, six tackles and two key passes, as well as blocking three shots, winning nine duels and completing 66 passes over the two legs – with these metrics seeing the right-back earn a quite remarkable SofaScore match rating of 7.4 in each fixture.
As such, should the England youth international indeed be fit to face Lyon on Thursday night, it is clear for all to see that this would come as a huge boost to West Ham’s chances of taking a lead to Parc Olympique Lyonnais on April 14 – a result that would represent a massive step in the Hammers’ hopes of securing a spot in the semi-finals of the competition.