By Kevin Phillips

11th Jun, 2020 | 9:57am

Kevin Phillips Exclusive: 28-yr-old can be West Ham hero after star-man injury report

Kevin Phillips claims there is an opportunity for somebody like Fabian Balbuena to be a West Ham hero amid Angelo Ogbonna injury doubts for the Premier League return next week.

The former Sunderland and Aston Villa striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, insisted it would be a blow for David Moyes to lose the 32-year-old ahead of the crucial run-in.

According to Football London the centre-half has struggled with injury since the Hammers returned to contact training in late May.

Ogbonna has been one of the Hammers’ stand out performers this season and has scored twice in 25 appearances in all competitions.

The loss of the Italian defender would put David Moyes in a precarious position with the only other specialist centre-backs at the club Issa Diop and Fabian Balbuena.

When asked by Football Insider how costly his loss would be to the Hammers, Phillips said: “David Moyes needs every player fully fit in this relegation battle. The pressure is on.

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“There is no bedding-in period and they need points on the board straight away.

“To lose one of your better players, your stronger players and a leader – it is a blow.

“But somebody’s loss is somebody’s gain, like Balbuena. There is an opportunity now for somebody to step up, be a hero and keep West Ham in the Premier League.

“Naturally though, it is a blow for David.”

Football Insider revealed that Balbuena, 28, has nine matches to save his career at the London Stadium and will likely be the man to step in if Ogbonna is unavailable.

David Moyes’s side welcome Wolves to the London Stadium a week on Saturday as they look to put distance between themselves and the relegation zone.

In other West Ham news, it can be REVEALED that highly-rated defender is unlikely to play for the club again after big development.