Photo by John Patrick Fletcher/Action Plus via Getty Images

West Ham fans react as defender secures contract extension

West Ham United defender Pablo Zabaleta has ended speculation he will retire from football once and for all by extending his contract at the London Stadium.

The Argentine’s old deal was to expire at the end of the current season, and some expected him to hang up his boots, but the 34-year-old has now committed to another year.

(Photo by Avril Husband/West Ham United via Getty Images)

Zabaleta joined the Hammers on a free transfer in 2017 after a succesful nine-year stint at Manchester City.

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He has made 65 appearances so far for the club, with 26 coming this season.

Speaking about his extension, Zabaleta said, as quoted by the club’s official website: “It’s great news and I’m so happy. I’m enjoying my time at West Ham and I’ve got so much respect and so much passion for this profession. I’m still enjoying it and it’s made me feel I can go for another year.”

(Photo by John Patrick Fletcher/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Next season Zabaleta will be battling it out with Ryan Fredericks to be the first-choice right-back, although many will expect the former’s age to see him operate more as a deputy.

West Ham fans react

As the club broke the news of Zabaleta’s extension on Wednesday evening, fans took to social media to react. Most seemed to be OK with the development, with many keen to him used as a back-up:

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