By Gabriel Agbonlahor

8th Dec, 2021 | 5:30pm

Zouma could be out for longer than expected after new West Ham setback - pundit

Gabby Agbonlahor has tipped West Ham to sign a centre-back in January as Kurt Zouma’s injury could be worse than expected.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Aston Villa and England attacker suggested Zouma could be out for even longer as hamstring injuries are difficult to return from.

The Guardian reported yesterday (7 December) the centre-back will be out for between six and 12 weeks with a hamstring injury he suffered in the 3-2 win over Chelsea.

David Moyes will also be without Angelo Ogbonna for the rest of the season as he suffered an ACL injury last month (7 November).

Football Insider revealed in the wake of that blow (29 November) the Hammers are in the market for a new centre-back in January.

They are laying the groundwork for a deal for Liverpool’s Nat Phillips after he has slipped down the pecking order at Anfield.

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Asked if he expects them to complete a deal for a defender next month, Agbonlahor told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley: “I think they will.

“They have to, now Zouma’s injury could rule him out until mid-February or March.

“Hamstrings can sometimes take longer than expected. It looked like a very sore one, the way he went down.

“You can’t just rely on Issa Diop and Craig Dawson, this is definitely worrying for West Ham.”

Zouma moved across London from Chelsea to West Ham over the summer and has been in exceptional form.

The Frenchman, 27, had been an ever-present in the Premier League before being forced off in the 71st minute during the victory over his former side at the weekend.

In other news, there has been a big update on James Tarkowski’s Burnley future after a £7m West Ham link.