West Ham fans were worried about the lack of depth in the squad after its culling over summer, and their fears have become a reality already.
As many as nine first-team players left West Ham this summer. Grady Diangana, Jordan Hugill, Roberto, Albian Ajeti, Pablo Zabaleta, Jeremy Ngakia, Carlos Sanchez, Jack Wilshere, Josh Cullen and Felipe Anderson all left the club.
This mass exodus of players has left the squad to its bare bones, especially as only one new face has joined the senior squad this summer, Vladimir Coufal. The positives of having a streamlined squad is that usually, all team members are happy as most receive a fair share of game time.
The negatives of having a small squad are that players can relax due to lack of competition. The biggest negative is that a single injury can disrupt the whole system. Sadly, for West Ham, this is now the case.
As it is the International break, fans are already tense about players fitness out on duty. Arguably one of West Ham’s most important players at the moment has picked up an injury while away from the team.
Arthur Masuaku has reportedly picked up a knee injury and will be flying back to England for treatment. The DR Congo international will miss friendly matches against Burkina Faso and Morocco. The extent of his injury is not yet known, but the club will be hopeful he will not miss any Premier League action.
Cover for Mansuaku in the squad is non-existent. Aaron Cresswell is the other left-back but is unable to perform to the 26-year-old’s level due to a lack of pace. The only over option is to switch Ben Johnson over to left-wing-back, but again, this would not be natural for the youngster.
The good thing is the EFL domestic transfer window is still open. West Ham can react, just like they did when Ryan Fredericks got injured. The Hammers moved quickly to reinforce the right-wing-back spot by signing Coufal. If the club is to do similar, it could see moves for Rico Henry or Ryan Manning materialise.