Brace The Hammer has been told by a source close to the club that Angelo Ogbonna has been nursing an injury for quite some time. The undisclosed injury may also result in shutting down Angelo for the remainder of the season. With that information now in mind, the Jose Fonte transfer is starting to make a bit more sense.
The £8 million transfer for the captain from Southampton could end up being the bargain of the season. It would be interesting to note whether Southampton was privy to this information prior to agreeing to the fee.
Prior to the knowledge of Ogbonna’s injury, many thought the Italian national could be on his way back to Serie A. There are numerous clubs seeking to bolster their defense and Angelo could have desired to go back home. Much like the current landscape of the Premier League, the top five clubs are all within eight points of each other, a few of which are suffering from their own defensive woes. Perhaps that might still be in the cards this summer, but for now if the injury news holds water, he’s staying put.
The statistics don’t very well do justice to the defensive story this season. Angelo’s critics have all pointed towards his positioning and reactions this year as being sub par. Depending on the type and severity of the injury, that may hamper his ability to perform at peak levels.
The signing of Jose Fonte gave many people reason to believe that Slaven Bilic will keep marching out a 3-4-3 with Fonte, Reid, and Ogbonna anchoring the line. We can now safely assume a 4-4-2 will be the formation of choice going forward with Sam Byram and Aaron Cresswell bookending Fonte and Reid.
For more on the Jose Fonte signing, check out Tom Atherton’s article as he breaks down what the addition means to West Ham United.