West Ham are confident that centre-back Kurt Zouma will be back ahead of schedule after impressing in his recovery from a hamstring injury.
The Frenchman’s excellent start to life at West Ham was brought to an abrupt end in early December when he damaged his hamstring in a meeting with former employers Chelsea, and the initial fear was that he was facing three months on the sidelines.
With partner-in-crime Angelo Ogbonna ruled out for the season with an ACL injury, Hammers boss David Moyes was considering recruiting a new centre-back in the January transfer window, but The Guardian state that he is having second thoughts following positive news on Zouma.
Zouma is expected back in training soon, and although he’ll still have work to do to get back to full fitness, there is confidence that his absence from competitive action won’t last too much longer.
The meeting with Manchester City on January 22 is being looked at as an ambitious target, but if he misses that, then Zouma is expected to make it back for the FA Cup tie against Kidderminster Harriers in early February.
That being said, West Ham have not completely ruled out bringing in a new centre-back. 90min understands they are among a group of Premier League sides who are keeping an eye on Feyenoord’s Marcos Senesi, who is in the final 18 months of his contract.
Manchester City’s Nathan Ake has also been considered, as have Championship trio Rob Dickie, Dael Fry and Lloyd Kelly of QPR, Middlesbrough and Bournemouth respectively.
There are also plans to bring in a new forward, with Sparta Prague’s Adam Hlozek attracting long-standing interest from the Hammers.
A slump in form towards the end of 2021 saw West Ham lose some ground in their quest to qualify for the Champions League, but Moyes’ side have recovered well, winning their last two games and occupying fifth place.