West Ham can offer fringe players a chance when they take on Non-League side Stockport when their FA Cup campaign starts next Monday.
This season has been a much more stable campaign for West Ham. The club have cemented themselves in the battle for the European spots and will have the chance to rotate the team against Stockport.
David Moyes has stuck by the same players in the Premier League, for the most part, this season only making changes when there are injuries and fixture congestion. Now the most familiar players from the side can have an extended break, and Moyes can give game time to players who have struggled for minutes in recent months.
Two defenders that could benefit from some minutes on the pitch are Issa Diop and Ryan Fredericks. Diop started the clubs first two games of the season, but then missed a substantial amount of time after testing positive for COVID-19. The Frenchman is a good defender but is stuck behind Fabian Balbuena and Craig Dawson due to their good performances.
Fredericks like Diop started the season in the first-team. The Englishman was impressive during the start to the season but after suffering an injury was replaced by Vladimir Coufal. The Czech defender has kept Fredericks on the bench with the right-back only getting limited minutes recently.
Fredericks is currently self-isolating after coming into contact with someone with COVID-19 over Christmas. The defender should be able to play against Stockport, providing the situation goes to the current plan. Both Diop and Fredericks would benefit from some game time. Getting them back to their best form will improve competition in the squad.
Another reason why the defenders need minutes on the pitch is their interest from other clubs. Diop is wanted by several french club’s on loan and Fredericks could be sold to cut costs on the playing staff. The club will want them performing well as they will increase the amount of money they get for the duo if they are let go.