Ben Johnson Stars For West Ham In The FA Cup 5th Round

Ben Johnson, West Ham. (Photo by Kirsty Wigglesworth - Pool/Getty Images)
Ben Johnson, West Ham. (Photo by Kirsty Wigglesworth - Pool/Getty Images) /

West Ham youngster Ben Johnson has given manager David Moyes a selection headache ahead of Monday’s game against Sheffield United. The 21-year-old put in a man of the match performance against Manchester United in the 5th round of the FA Cup, after coming on as a concussion substitute for Issa Diop at half time.

Another product of West Ham’s academy of football, Johnson joined the Hammers age seven signing his first professional contract back in January 2018. During his time in the youth teams, Johnson originally played as an attacking winger before being converted to a full-back.

Described as being when of the best two-footed players at the club, the pacey full-back is able to play on either the right or left-hand side of the defence. After coming on at half time against Manchester United in the cup, the academy product showed just why he’s been knocking on the door for a spot in the starting 11.

West Ham’s Ben Johnson is a powerful, skilful and pacey player with the ability to glide past players in the final third whilst offering a solid defensive presence. 

Ben Johnson, West Ham.
Ben Johnson, West Ham. (Photo by NEIL HALL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

Johnson’s last start for the Irons was back in December 2020 where he scored his first senior goal for the club in a 2-2 draw at home to Brighton. It’s difficult to see why he was dropped from the side after that game, but with Moyes preferring a four at the back in recent times it was most likely a tactical decision.

In what was a particularly defensive and negative performance against Manchester United Johnson provided plenty of flare, with the majority of West Ham’s attacking threat flowing through him down the left-hand side.

With the latest injury news concerning Angelo Ogbonna, Moyes may be forced into a change of formation with defender Aaron Cresswell perhaps returning to left centre back. With Arthur Masuaku still several weeks from full fitness, this could be the ideal opportunity for Johnson to cement his place in the team.

It’s fair to say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree for Johnson when it comes to footballing ability. The young Englishman is the nephew of former Manchester United and England full-back Paul Parker and cousin of former England and Tottenham Hotspur defender Ledley King.

It’s been almost two years since Johnson made his Premier League debut in a 1-0 defeat to Manchester City at the Etihad and with two serious hamstring injuries perhaps halting the youngster’s progress, Johnson still hasn’t reached his full potential.

Next. Bad News On West Ham's Injured Players. dark

If there’s one thing us Hammers fans love it’s a homegrown talent and Claret and Blue fans will be watching closely over the next couple of weeks, hoping the English full-back gets his opportunity to shine.