David Moyes should recall Ryan Fredericks to the West Ham United starting line-up for Sunday’s London derby with Tottenham Hotspur.
Fredericks has been given a new lease of life at the London Stadium since the turn of the year, making seven of his 12 appearances across all competitions in 2021 alone.
The 28-year-old had only featured for 91 minutes between sustaining a hamstring injury at home to Wolves at the end of September and his call to action at Crystal Palace last month.
Should Fredericks start vs Spurs?
Yes, he played well vs Villa
No, he isn’t good enough
Yet Fredericks has still only opened six games to date this term, having entered the action from the bench in West Ham’s last three fixtures, despite impressing against Aston Villa during his most recent start.
Moyes had fielded Fredericks on the right-wing at Villa Park in place of regular first-choice forward Jarrod Bowen, having decided to double up on Dean Smith’s talisman Jack Grealish with the £40k-per-week full-back partnering Vladimir Coufal.
“I was really pleased. His speed is really important to us, he gives us an extra dimension and allowed us to go on the outside and put crosses in from the outside rather than Jarrod coming inside a bit more,” the Irons boss said, via quotes by Claret & Hugh.
“It gave me a little bit more of a defensive situation when I needed it, up against a good team.
“I thought Ryan played very well. I thought he did a great job for me with everything he did, and he has given me more thoughts and options that he can do that job much more often now.”
Moyes should now look to repeat that success against Tottenham on Sunday, when Jose Mourinho will be striving to avoid a fifth Premier League defeat in six games and a third-straight away loss.
Despite their recent record, Spurs will pose a serious threat to West Ham’s impressive run of six wins in their last eight top-flight fixtures, with 13-goal joint top-scorer Harry Kane the most in-form player in the division this season with an average WhoScored rating of 7.78.
No player across the Premier League has been awarded as many Man of the Match ratings as the England international (9), who also ranks first for assists (11), either. So, West Ham’s defenders will have their work cut out if they are to restrict the 27-year-old.
But focusing on Kane could allow for Heung-Min Son to return to form, with the 28-year-old – who earned his worst WhoScored match rating of the league campaign so far (6.17) against Manchester City last time out – offering as many goals (13) as his teammate, along with six assists to date.
Having a partnership of Fredericks and Coufal combining on the right to restrict Son could, therefore, take away another one of Mourinho’s weapons, and increase the chances of West Ham recording a first home victory over the north London side since 2017.