Darren Bent insists Mark Noble will be a “big, big miss” for West Ham when they host Fulham.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Spurs and England striker claimed there was no substitute for his experience.
David Moyes confirmed on Friday that his captain had picked up a rib injury and would be unavailable for the visit of the Cottagers.
The Irons have not won any of their last three games and Noble has been missing for all of them.
Prior to that, the 33-year-old was introduced from the substitute’s bench in impressive wins over Leicester City and Wolves.
Asked by Football Insider what Noble’s continued absence meant for West Ham, Bent said: “He’s a big miss because he’s their leader, he knows that club better than anybody.
“The experience that he brings to that team is a very big miss substitute for experience.
“What West Ham have been doing of late is for sensational.
“Ever since they beat Wolves 4-0, they’ve been brilliant. They’ve been winning games that people didn’t give them a chance.
“You’ve got to say fair play to them, they’ve done what they needed to do. They plan really well.
“It’s fair play to David Moyes and the bench because people didn’t give him the chance so you have to say well done.
“There’s still a long way to go but they’ve really impressed me because I was one of the doubters wondering whether they’d pick up any points.”
Noble has played 506 games for his boyhood club since making his debut as a 17-year-old in 2004.
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