Date: 1st October 2019 at 10:31am
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Manuel Pellegrini is privately fretting over Roberto as the West Ham back-up goalkeeper, Football Insider can reveal.

The Hammers manager will publicly throw his full support behind the 33-year-old as he prepares for an extended spell as the club’s number one.

A West Ham source has told Football Insider that Pellegrini regards the Spaniard as superior to David Martin, the other keeper signed this summer following Adrian’s exit.

The Chilean is an admirer of Roberto’s shot-stopping but has misgivings over his kicking and flexibility.

The source explained Pellegrini regards these as “real issues”.

Football Insider broke the news yesterday that Lukasz Fabianski will be sidelined for up to three months after scans showed he tore a thigh muscle in Saturday’s draw against Bournemouth.

Roberto replaced the Poland international against Bournemouth after 34 minutes and started both of the club’s League Cup fixtures, including the 4-0 thrashing at Oxford United last Wednesday.

He is set for a lengthy spell in goal and the chance to vindicate the choice of director of football Mario Husillos to sign him during the summer window.

Husillos pushed for Roberto after previously signing him on loan from Espanyol when he was in charge at his former club Malaga.

The Argentine, who was cherry-picked by Pellegrini to take over as West Ham director of football, is confident the goalkeeper has the capabilities to be an adequate stand-in for Fabianski.

In other West Ham news, it can be REVEALED that the club have tabled a James Collins offer.