By Noel Whelan

13th Nov, 2021 | 8:00am

Pundit 'amazed' by West Ham-Ogbonna update from Athletic

West Ham have shown “real class” by pledging to “look after” stricken defender Angelo Ogbonna, according to Noel Whelan.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the 33-year-old has played a “big part” in the Hammers’ current success.

As confirmed by West Ham (November 9th), Ogbonna suffered damage to his anterior cruciate ligament during the Hammers’ 3-2 victory over Liverpool last Sunday.

As reported by the Athletic (November 9th), the Hammers intend to extend the defender’s contract despite the injury – with the 33-year-old’s current terms expiring at the end of the season.

The Italian defender has already begun his recovery at West Ham’s Rush Green training ground.

Whelan hailed the east London club after the “amazing” update, and backed Ogbonna to come back “fit and firing”.

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“I love the fact that they are looking after the players who have worn the shirt for such a long time,” he told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury.

“He’s been a big part of getting them to where they are now under David Moyes.

“There was probably worry in Ogbonna’s mind about his contract expiring just as he picks up this really horrible injury, but the club have done the right thing.

“The club have shown real class by helping him out, and it just shows that trust between player and club.

“It’s amazing. You have to give players that reassurance that they are wanted. West Ham will get him back fit and he’ll have those assurances with the contract so he can come back fit and firing.”

Ogbonna has been a stalwart under David Moyes this season.

He has started each of West Ham’s 11 Premier League fixtures.

In other news, West Ham agree two new deals and a third is on the cards as overhaul intensifies.