Danny Mills has tipped West Ham defender Fabian Balbuena to be dropped against Sheffield United tomorrow.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley, the former Leeds and England full-back claimed the intense travelling the Paraguayan undertook during the international break will have taken its toll.
Hammers boss David Moyes told Football.London he was concerned about the amount of travelling Balbuena had done and he only returned to training on Thursday afternoon.
The 29-year-old completed a 12,500 mile round trip to play for his country and travelled a further 3,000 miles for Paraguay’s 1-1 draw with Argentina in World Cup qualifying.
Asked by Football Insider whether travelling so far will mean Moyes decides to drop the defender, Mills said: “Thiago Silva was left out of the Chelsea squad against Newcastle after travelling a very similar distance. It’s not easy.
“I’ve played with players in the past like Mark Schwarzer, Mark Viduka and Harry Kewell who would go off to Australia and players handle it in different ways.
“It’s not just the travelling, it’s the time zones and adjusting to that is not easy. With such long flights after you played a game, it’s difficult to sleep and your recovery is effected because of that.
“Then you’re flying back immediately and you get a little bit heavy in the legs.
“All players will be assessed, once they get back into the country and get back into the building. They’ll be assessed on how they feel and go from there. Sometimes you respond differently, for no apparent reason.
“It’s always a fluid situation which frustrates managers. But if you’re signing international players, it’s something that you just have to deal with.”
After missing West Ham’s first two games Balbuena has started their last six and has helped his side keep three clean sheets in that time.