Danny Mills has suggested that West Ham defender Pablo Zabaleta is facing the axe under manager Manuel Pellegrini after the club’s defeat to Newcastle United on Saturday.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Manchester City and England full-back suggests that the Argentinian ace proved his inability to deal with pacey forwards after struggling to contain Allan Saint-Maximan at the London Stadium.
The French winger was a standout performer for the Magpies in Newcastle’s 3-2 victory, Pellegrini opting to start Zabaleta ahead of fellow right-back Ryan Fredericks.
With the former Fulham man waiting in the wings to return to the starting XI, Mills suggests that the Argentine veteran is facing being dropped by Pellegrini.
Asked if Zabaleta was under threat of the axe, Mills told Football Insider: “Yeah. Zabaleta has been an incredible servant. Came in to Manchester City when I was there which is like 100 years ago and he’s won the Premier League, he’s been absolutely fabulous.
“There gets to a point where you are better suited to centre-half. If you’ve got a runner up against you and someone that is way quicker, it’s very, very difficult to deal with that unless you get help from your teammates.”
Zabaleta has played seven times across all competitions for the Hammers this season but only two of those outings have come in a Premier League starting XI.
The veteran defender has a total of 298 top-flight appearances during his time at Manchester City and West Ham, with two league titles, two League Cups and an FA Cup to his name.