The Hammers’ hopes of a top-four finish took a dent on Saturday after Timo Werner’s goal pulled Chelsea three points clear of David Moyes’ side in fourth-place of the Premier League.
Following the defeat, journalist Delaney suggested a possible tactical change for Moyes with Ryan Fredericks a potential option to replace Vladimir Coufal at right-back.
Should Fredericks start more games for West Ham?
Czech international Coufal has had a terrific season for the Hammers having featured 29 times in the league and providing five assists in those games (via Transfermarkt).
However, Delaney believes the £2.7m-rated Fredericks could provide the Hammers with a more attack-minded option at the right-back position in certain games.
He said: “When you’re playing 4-4-2, Coufal is a brilliant right back. When you’re playing wing-backs, [it] could be that some games you’re better off playing [Ryan] Fredericks at right wing-back, which would be a terrible tragedy for one of the best players this season in Coufal, and Coufal is no slouch going forward either.
“But Fredericks is such an extra threat on top of your actual attacking players, that I think against certain teams, particularly if Moyes identifies that team as having a sluggish left-back, I think when everyone’s fit again, the idea of having Fredericks down the right and [Arthur ] Masuaku down the left, you’d really trouble teams with that – when they’ve already got to worry about [Jesse] Lingard and [Jarrod] Bowen in the middle.”
TIF Thoughts on Delaney’s comments…
Coufal has had an excellent season for the Hammers this year so it is surprising to hear Delaney suggest Moyes should look at Fredericks as an alternative to the Czech international.
However, in Fredericks’ mere 544 minutes of game time in the Premier League this season, he has been able to find the back of the net and provide an assist for the east London side (via Transfermarkt).
Although Delaney does provide a good argument for involving Fredericks more in the starting XI, it would be interesting to see how Coufal would respond to that given he has received an awful lot of praise this season for his first year at the London Stadium.