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West Ham trio return from injury to bring potential transfer plans into focus

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West Ham’s players returned to training on Tuesday afternoon in groups of no more than five after Premier League clubs voted unanimously to bring in phase one of Project Restart.

Rush Green had been open for two weeks prior but only to one player at a time, for an hour each time, and just the player and a club member of staff was on site in case of emergency.

Now though, more players are at the training ground, as are the coaching staff too as manager David Moyes gets to see his players in person for the first time since March.

With the enforced lay-off since March 7 when the Hammers last played, a 1-0 defeat to Arsenal, that has allowed injured players to recover.

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Jack Wilshere is back in small group training having yet to play under David Moyes and having not started a Premier League game since the second match of the season at Brighton when Manuel Pellegrini was manager.

Ryan Fredericks is back training too as he has now recovered from a shoulder injury and subsequent surgery, suffered when he was unceremoniously barged to the floor by Man City midfielder Rodri in a 2-0 defeat at the Etihad Stadium in February.

Also back on the grass at Rush Green is Andriy Yarmolenko, who hasn’t played for the senior side since a 17-minute run out in a win over Southampton on December 14 last year. The Ukrainian had suffered a thigh muscle problem which took far longer to recover from than initially anticipated. He had a couple of run outs for the under-23s before Covid-19 hit but that's it in 2020.

All three of those players certainly have their futures under scrutiny.

Jack Wilshere in action (Image: James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)

Wilshere has struggled with injury since his free transfer from Arsenal in the summer of 2018, with just 16 appearances to show for his £100,000 a week contract as he hasn’t shrugged off his injury-prone tag.

The club has a big decision to make over Wilshere this summer as he enters the final year of his deal in east London going into the 2020/21 campaign. It’s been a tough lockdown for Wilshere, who lost his grandfather but wasn’t able to attend the funeral due to restrictions.

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Yarmolenko's future is up for debate too. Like Wilshere, the winger has struggled with injury in his two seasons, seeing his 2019/20 campaign ruined by a serious achilles injury which sidelined him for eight months. He’d missed three months of this one too before the pandemic swept in.

The winger is in the upper tier of earners at the club as well having penned a four-year contract in 2018 to sign from Borussia Dortmund. With every player at the club this summer having a price on their head, the 30-year-old is a prime candidate to be moved on.

Ryan Fredericks stretches during West Ham training (Image: aniel Kopatsch - WHUFC/West Ham United FC via Getty Images)

In the case of Fredericks, it’s a bit clearer. With Pablo Zabaleta leaving at the end of the season and just Jeremy Ngakia as backup, Fredericks place in the squad is more secure than others.

West Ham during the break

That said, the Hammers tried to sign Nottingham Forest right back Matty Cash in January, were interested in Rasmus Kristensen of RB Salzburg and are now being linked with River Plate defender Gonzalo Montiel. Added to the emergence of Ngakia, plus Ben Johnson waiting in the wings too, Fredericks has a fight on his hands for a starting spot.

There is still no concrete date for when the Premier League could return, though the initial hope of June 12 might be pushed back a week to the 19th. Even then, that’s not set in stone though the Premier League will be buoyed by the successful return of the Bundesliga last weekend.

West Ham posted no positive Covid-19 test results from the first round of mass testing which took place on Sunday, with another to be done later this week as part of a twice-weekly schedule.

For Fredericks, Yarmolenko and Wilshere though, they will want to show some positive signs on the pitch instead as they battle for their futures in the capital.




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