As we noted here before, Johnson was yet another of a string of out-of-contract right backs that have been linked with the club since the close of the January transfer window, with Manchester City’s Pablo Zabaleta and Bacary Sagna both linked with “free” transfers to the London Stadium from City this offseason.
West Ham are interested in signing either Pablo Zabaleta or Bacary Sagna from Manchester City in the summer, according to Sky sources. pic.twitter.com/T34FZXk3sx— FootballPassion (@FootballCaviar) April 10, 2017
The right back position has been a concern for West Ham United for years, with Sam Byram only recently getting a fine run of form playing at right back in the first team since arriving last year from Leeds United. Of course, since this is West Ham and fans can’t have nice things, Byram followed up a man-of-the-match performance against Swansea City by getting a red card in last weekends draw against Sunderland, meaning he will miss the upcoming
loss match against Everton at home Saturday. While Alvaro Arbeloa is still on the roster, it would be a surprise to see him take the pitch on Saturday, as he hasn’t featured in months and has apparently already made plans to move on after the season is over.
The question of course now becomes if Johnson was ever actually going to leave Stoke or if West Ham was even interested in bringing Johnson back to East London to “get the band back together” with Jermain Defoe, another player who left after the 2002-03 relegation. The easiest transfer rumor to publish right now is to simply pick an out of contract defender who is over 30, simply say that “sources say that West Ham is interested” and BAM, a transfer rumor is born. Since the board seem to love to do their transfer business in the press, it is entirely believable that West Ham could be linked to just about any player, no matter how unlikely the transfer rumors could be. West Ham’s defense is a mess, and while it’s likely some changes will be made, until the end of the summer transfer window in August, expect to see even more names linked with a move to West Ham that will never actually come true.