West Ham United boss Manuel Pellegrini made a bold selection on his return to the Etihad Stadium last night.
The Chilean handed young Ben Johnson his full debut against reigning Premier League champions Manchester City, with both Aaron Cresswell and Arthur Masuaku unavailable through injury.
The Hammers put up a real fight but ultimately lost 1-0, with Johnson having a decent game considering the difficulty of the fixture.
The Englishman went off injured at 63 minutes to be replaced by the more experienced Pablo Zabaleta, with Pellegrini since confirming a calf issue as the reason for the change (via Ben Dinnery).
The teenager gave a good account of himself at left-back, especially since he is naturally a right-back.
Provided his injury is not serious and he is available for selection again soon, then Johnson should be handed more opportunities by Pellegrini.
To have fared as well as he did at the Etihad on his debut shows how much promise he has.
It could have been a baptism of fire him playing out of position but he was solid enough against Riyad Mahrez.
The Hammers are going to be safe from relegation this season. There is too much quality in the side for them to be threatened by that.
Which is why Johnson should be given more chances. There’s little to lose, and neither Masuaku nor Cresswell have convinced this season.