The £27m club record signing has missed the last six matches, four of which have been lost, with a groin injury suffered at Leicester City but played 45 minutes for the Under-23s in Friday’s victory at Wolverhampton Wanderers, and appears to have suffered no ill-effects.
“Great feeling getting some minutes with the U23s,” he posted on Instagram afterwards. “Totally focussed on Monday against West Ham!”
With 12 games of the season left, West Ham remain contenders to qualify for the Champions League, which is a considerable achievement for a team which finished 16th last season.
“They’ve been able to maintain a stable partnership in midfield (between Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek),” noted Bielsa.
“The four full-backs are important players. Apart from that, they have resolved the absence of (Arthur) Masuaku (who has not played since early December with a knee injury).
“Their two goalkeepers have shone and the centre-backs, not only have they been sure at the back, they have also contributed goals in attack. They have a very good set-piece taker with his left foot (Aaron Cresswell) and the manager (David Moyes) has been able to obtain some very good football with that team.”
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