EXCLUSIVE By Wayne Veysey
Pedro Obiang is working intently behind the scenes to make his West Ham return against Tottenham on Wednesday after Mark Noble’s suspension, Football Insider sources understand.
The Spanish central midfielder has missed the Hammers’ last two matches against Leicester City and Spurs due to a calf injury.
A well-placed source has told Football Insider that Obiang knows he is needed ‘as a matter of urgency’ due to skipper Noble’s absence and is working overtime at the club’s training headquarters to return for the League Cup clash at London Stadium on Wednesday night.
Manuel Pellegrini said at his media conference ahead of the 1-1 draw at Leicester on Saturday that he hoped the Spaniard, 26, would return against Tottenham.
Obiang was used in a central midfield three alongside Noble and Declan Rice before his injury, and Robert Snodgrass stepped in to replace him in the last two matches.
Noble’s three-game suspension means Pellegrini will give Obiang as long as possible to prove his fitness to make the starting XI against Spurs.
In further good news for West Ham ahead of Wednesday’s showdown, Marko Arnautovic is in line to return for the second fixture between the two clubs within a fortnight.
Football Insider broke the news at 3.05pm on Saturday that Arnautovic would miss the fixture at Leicester after being struck down by a virus, over an hour before the Austrian confirmed his absence on social media.
In other West Ham news, Football Insider can reveal a Premier League mega name has contacted the Hammers hierarchy about a sensational January return to the club.