Danny Mills has claimed that Ryan Fredericks’ latest injury blow represents a big issue for West Ham manager David Moyes.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former England international suggested that the disparity in physicality between the 27-year-old and covering right-back Pablo Zabaleta could prove to be a problem for the Hammers in their battle to avoid relegation.
Fredericks was forced off during the 2-0 defeat to Manchester City earlier this week, with a report from Claret & Hugh claiming that he could be sidelined for months after breaking a bone in his shoulder.
With Zabaleta the other natural right-back option, Mills has highlighted just how worrying Fredericks’ absence could be for the Irons.
He told Football Insider: “The problem for David Moyes is Zabaleta is not his old self, he’s a bit old and that’s the problem, that’s the biggest issue for Pablo Zabaleta.
“We know he’s got good quality, we know how good he’s been in the past but at this moment in time, Fredericks is a lot more athletic and has got a much better chance of dealing with the pace of the Premier League.
“He will be a little bit concerned, he’s got to hope that when he [Zabaleta] comes in, and we’re assuming it will be Zabaleta, he’s fit, he’s raring to go and he’s got to be careful he doesn’t get exposed for pace at times.”
Fredericks only recently returned from a spell on the sidelines after picking up a hamstring strain in the FA Cup third round clash with Gillingham at the beginning of January.
So far this season he has registered 21 appearances in all competitions.
In other West Ham news, Mills believes Moyes has doubts over character of Hammers star after Wednesday.