With the January transfer window looming, West Ham are reportedly looking to thin the squad and move on fringe players, including this polarizing defender.
As was the case five weeks ago when this story first broke, Ryan Fredericks appears to be done as a West Ham player should an offer come in for him in January. The English right-back has had injury woes plaguing his career in East London and has been passed on the depth chart twice over.
The transfer of Vladimir Coufal was originally thought to be a depth option to insulate Ben Johnson and challenge/cover for Fredericks. Injury opened the door for Coufal and David Moyes never looked back in his team selection. The Slavia Prague fullback stepped into the wingback role with ease and has been rock solid ever since.
Fredericks had a really strong start to the season but unfortunately for him, injury struck like it had season after season before. Coufal has shown he is consistent, balanced, coachable, and has great delivery. The only step-down Coufal has in comparison with Fredericks is his pace, which is Fredericks’ specialty.
West Ham ITK from Claret & Hugh has now shared the rumour that if an offer comes in for Fredericks he’ll be off the Hammers books as soon as January. Speaking of, his £40k a week would be a relief to the club finances, plus they can turn a profit on him as he was a free signing.
While extremely likable, elite on his day and pace to make up for just about any coverage mistake in the game, Ryan Fredericks’ injury record cannot be ignored. It was a gamble to sign him and it was a gamble to let Jeremy Ngakia go without a replacement lined up because Fredericks was going to get injured.
With Coufal in the club now, there is no reason to carry three right-sided fullbacks. Fredericks has become expendable and hopefully can find a team at a level where he can play with more regularity. Ironically, he thrived in the five-at-the-back formation this season, but if he isn’t fit there is no way of knowing how good he could have been in this team.
Southampton were linked with Fredericks this summer, but a move for Kyle Walker-Peters was moved on instead so that gap has been filled. I would imagine any of the bottom three Premier League teams could look to Fredericks as a fresh face, or a Championship team looking for leadership and skill to push for promotion.