Ryan Fredericks had a fairly slow start last year during his first season at West Ham and needs to kick on in the upcoming campaign.
The 26-year-old defender arrived at the London Stadium with a strong reputation and was expected to go straight into the XI.
He’s a right-back with express pace and impressed during his time with Fulham in the Championship.
The English full-back played just 18 times across all competitions last season for the Hammers, but an ankle injury around New Year didn’t help his cause.
Fredericks has a shot of cementing his spot in the starting XI if he makes improvements and needs to edge veteran Pablo Zabaleta out of contention.
The £40,000-a-week ace (Spotrac) has all the traits of a modern full-back with his speed and attacking instincts, but just needs to sharpen up defensively.
Zabaleta, 34, had his contract extended by a year in the summer by West Ham and will stay for another season.
The experienced defender is a useful member to have in the squad, but Fredericks has to have ambitions of overtaking him and taking the reigns as the first-choice right-back.
Zabaleta is certainly an ageing defender that is on the decline and shouldn’t be relied upon on a weekly basis.
Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini has a talented group of players that should be pushing for Europe in the new campaign, but the right-back area looks one of the weaker departments going into the season.
Fredericks needs to show he’s got what it takes during his second season in the top-flight.