Angelo Ogbonna picked up a nasty knee injury in West Ham’s 3-2 win over Liverpool at the weekend and is expected to be out for a long period.
It remains to be seen whether the Italian centre-back, 33, needs to undergo surgery, but the initial prognosis does not look good, and a club source has confirmed the fears of most Hammers fans to The Athletic.
West Ham are already planning the remainder of the campaign without Ogbonna, and that is a massive blow.
The club source told the website: “Losing Ogbonna is a massive blow. He carried on playing (on Sunday), we didn’t think it would be that bad.
“We’re thinking of next season already. It’s bad news. Tactically, he is brilliant — a typical Italian. He organises, communicates and understands the game well.”
Not looking good
The Hammers have plans to activate the option of the one-year extension in his deal if he does not return to action soon [The Athletic], and while that is good news, David Moyes will be hoping for a miracle.
A ruptured anterior cruciate ligament takes time to heal fully, and the club’s fears are understandable.
However, his recovery could be faster than imagined if the former Juventus defender is not required to go under the knife.
Ogbonna has been key to West Ham’s impressive start to the season, and Moyes could now be forced to switch things up in order to cope with his absence.
The Hammers often used a three-man back line system with wing-backs last term and may need to do so again with the Italian out.
The injury blow is a massive challenge for Moyes and he needs to come up with a perfect plan that will help his side maintain momentum after the international break.
The Scot and his backroom have two weeks to figure things out, and their final decision will definitely have a huge say on how their campaign pans out.
In other West Ham news, Jesse Lingard has sent a two-word message to Hammers ace after 3-2 win v Liverpool.
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