West Ham 'problem' the 'last thing Moyes needs' at London Stadium

West Ham United manager David Moyes

West Ham youngster Ben Johnson playing in central defence is the “last thing” manager David Moyes would have wanted, says Daily Star journalist Paul Brown.

An injury crisis at the back has resulted in Moyes having to use Johnson as a centre-half, with the 22-year-old starting as one in the Hammers’ 2-0 defeat to Manchester City at the London Stadium over the weekend.

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What is the current state of West Ham’s defence?

New signing Nayef Aguerd is unavailable for selection after undergoing surgery on an ankle injury last month.

As well as the Moroccan, who joined West Ham from Rennes for £30m earlier this summer, Craig Dawson and Angelo Ogbonna are also currently sidelined.

The above meant Moyes had to deploy Johnson, a natural full-back, alongside Kurt Zouma in a back four against City.

Issa Diop is currently fit; however, Moyes revealed that the Frenchman made himself unavailable ahead of his impending move to Fulham.

What has Brown said about West Ham’s defensive crisis?

Brown says Moyes would not have wanted to play Johnson in central defence against City and can now see West Ham entering the market for someone in that position.

When asked if signing a new centre-back has become a priority for the east London club, the Daily Star journalist said: “Definitely. Losing Diop’s actually been a bit of a problem. I mean, he was way down the pecking order and was told that he wouldn’t get many games by the manager this summer, so it’s no surprise really that he’s chosen to leave.

“But I don’t think anyone foresaw that they’d lose Aguerd to a nasty injury and they still have Dawson and Ogbonna coming back. So to start the season with Ben Johnson playing centre-back in a four is probably the last thing that Moyes wanted.”

Who could West Ham sign?

Amid their injury nightmare in defence, West Ham are now thought to be considering Paris Saint-Germain duo Thilo Kehrer and Abdou Diallo.

According to Foot Mercato (via Sport Witness), the Hammers have both players on their radar and PSG are open to selling. However, it is expected that Moyes will sign just one of the two.

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Given the mess that West Ham are in, though, you suspect that Moyes would probably take either.

Whether they had all of their central defenders available or not for the defeat against City, it was always going to be a difficult fixture. It is certainly not something to dwell on, so from Moyes’ perspective, it is a game that they can quickly move on from.

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