International football is underway and with it an increased risk of transmission of COVID-19. West Ham now have another player who has contracted the virus.
Just a month after Josh Cullen and Issa Diop test positive for COVID-19 prior to a league cup match against Hull City, West Ham have another player who has contracted the Coronavirus, this time away with his international team for European friendlies and Nations League play.
Newcomer Vladimir Coufal has contracted the virus, as confirmed by ExWHUemployee, and the Czech national team in a press release ahead of their match with Isreal on Sunday. The release has stated that three players have tested positive are confirmed with a whopping 16 inconclusive pending further results.
Hindsight is 20/20, but it is clear that international football needs to be halted amidst a global pandemic. Countries like Germany, Iceland, Finland who have done a terrific job at protecting their citizens from widespread outbreaks are now risking public health for relatively meaningless football matches.
For West Ham, the positive test of Coufal comes with a negative result for Tomas Soucek. If I were the powers that be at West Ham I would have a private flight for Soucek sent to pick him up and bring him back to London where he can be monitored and preserved moving forward.
With Coufal potentially ill and at best having to self-isolate prior to returning to West Ham, it is good timing that Ryan Fredericks in on track to return to first-team football when the Hammers play cross-town rivals Tottenham Hotspur on October 18th.
Fredericks, despite missing half of the match against Wolves and the entire Leicester match, is second in chances created by a defender, on trailing teammate Aaron Cresswell on the rankings. He has embraced his role as a wingback magnificently and looks at home in wider, more advanced areas.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed and thoughts positive ahead of a contentions amount of testing with the Czech national team. We may have slight cover for Coufal if he has to miss time, but a loss of Tomas Soucek would massively hurt this team.