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Alan 3:22 Wed Feb 23
Ben Johnson
Evening Standard

West Ham ward off Arsenal and Tottenham interest in starlet Ben Johnson with two-year contract extension

By Jack Rosser

West Ham have taken up a two-year option in Ben Johnson's contract, extending his current deal to 2024.

Johnson's deal was set to expire at the end of the campaign and talks had been held over a potential fresh contract, but the club have elected to take up the additional two-year option which will see the academy graduate's wage rise this summer.

The full-back has established himself as a first-team figure this season and excelled for a spell earlier in the campaign during an injury to first-choice right-back Vladimir Coufal.

During that run in the side the 22-year-old shone in victories over Tottenham, Liverpool and Chelsea.

That run of form drew attention from outside of West Ham. London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham have both kept a keen eye on his development, with Liverpool also impressed by his performance against them in West Ham's 3-2 victory at London Stadium.

Spurs manager Antonio Conte remains keen to add a right-wing back to his squad having failed to do so in the January window. The North Londoners signed Emerson Royal from Barcelona in the summer but the 23-year-old has disappointed so far this season.

Despite that interest, Johnson is very happy at the London Stadium and focused on securing his place in Moyes’s starting XI once again.

That chance could come this weekend when Wolves visit the Hammers. Coufal is out of form and missed last weekend's draw with Newcastle due to a hernia issue, meaning there could be an opening for Johnson to force his way back in. Moyes elected to start with Ryan Fredericks against the Magpies but the former Fulham man was booked early and replaced by Johnson at half-time following a poor showing.

Another sustained run of games for Johnson, who can also play at left-back or in midfield if required, could increase his chances of a first England Under-21s call-up next month, with the Three Lions coaches having monitored his progress.

Johnson is uncapped at youth level for England and faces competition from Southampton's Tino Livramento, Norwich City's Max Aarons and Nottingham Forest full-back Djed Spence, the latter of whom is also of interest to Arsenal and Tottenham.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

After8 2:56 Sat Mar 19
Re: Ben Johnson
He'll be left back. We're not going to spend big.

Full Claret Jacket 2:53 Sat Mar 19
Re: Ben Johnson
He is a steady 6 or 7 out of 10 player. Good defensively, can use both feet but doesn't offer electric pace, vision and delivery so limited as an attacking threat. With more experience and confidence his attacking game will progress but his primary job is to defend, not make silly mistakes and caught out trying to overplay.
Given his limited experience, I think he has done fantastic and is well worth his spot. Loves West Ham, is versatile and good character. Hope he gets a fair long term deal as other clubs would certainly be interested.

Leeshere 2:38 Sat Mar 19
Re: Ben Johnson
I think Ashby eventually will be the long term right back, he is highly rated by Moyes. Johnson in my opinion could replace Cresswell at left back or develop into a centre half, such is his versatility.

chim chim cha boo 2:04 Sat Mar 19
Re: Ben Johnson
Thow-ins have boiled my piss for years and years so it's not just down to BJ.

Throw it to the forward even though he's being marked by three defenders almost always means turning over possession when there's a perfectly placed and unmarked player within throwing distance.

When we get a throw-in it's just something I have learned to expect, a bit like getting a corner under fat Sam. You just can't get excited about it.

It's such a basic skill but it happens game after game.

legrandefromage 1:51 Sat Mar 19
Re: Ben Johnson
He could also use a Throw-In coach.

Excellent defensively. Better going forward when Bowen is in front of him

RoyalDocksGK 1:27 Sat Mar 19
Re: Ben Johnson
I'd love if he could work with an attacking coach for a few months. I feel whenever he gets the ball from Dawson which seems to be a lot he's not got the confidence in taking a man on. Thought he was unbelievable last night. Got caught out by a piece of excellence skill by Martial his only contribution to the game but got forward well and put in some good crosses.

Tie him down to a long term contract as soon as possible.

Sir Alf 1:23 Sat Mar 19
Re: Ben Johnson
Strong, solid as a rock ( cue for a song ) defender. Better defensively than Coufal and Fredericks and Cresswell.

Crossing and ball out from the back needs to improve and is improving as the weeks proceed. He played some lovely diagonal passes win the last few games and passes well to feet to switch the play. Main issue now is , as others mention, to get better at overlapping and making his crosses into the box more effective. The ability to arc in a cross at speed that is not too near the keeper. Cresswell seems to have lost that ability since returning from injury too but Johnson needs to work the extra hours in training perfecting it.
Once he can deliver a quality cross and overlap better he will be a quality modern day wing back. Moyes and team seem to improve players so there is a very good chance that he will become one of the better right backs / wing backs we have had in the last 40 odd years going back to Ray Stewart.

Jaan Kenbrovin 5:25 Fri Mar 18
Re: Ben Johnson
Well deserved call up. Good player who is clearly growing in confidence, and already doesn’t look out of place in a Europa League match. Being in the England u21’s will hopefully improve him quicker.

Crassus 5:13 Fri Mar 18
Re: Ben Johnson
As said, delivery is his weak point although it appears to be improving
I'd have him doing extras after training just crossing balls from the wing - with his obvious technical ability hooking a cross over won't be beyond him
An exciting prospect with a bright future

Come On You Irons 5:12 Fri Mar 18
Re: Ben Johnson
He's a terrible crosser and generally terrible with the ball at his feet, so I can see why he was converted to a full back.

chim chim cha boo 5:07 Fri Mar 18
Re: Ben Johnson
Vexed 3:38 Fri Mar 18

I think that it's going to be a big ask to replace Cressy, our most underrated player.

Lee Trundle 5:04 Fri Mar 18
Re: Ben Johnson
He started off as a right winger as a kid, chim, so that might not be too outrageous to suggest that.

He's also not bad at playing on the right in a back 3, as well as left back.

Very good to have that kind player at the club, especially in a squad this small.

chim chim cha boo 4:53 Fri Mar 18
Re: Ben Johnson
I love the kid and every game he seems to improve, a tiny bit like Declan.

Like Russ said, he can trap an over-hit pass like it's a bag of cement.

Controversial statement I know but I think he would be our first choice right winger if he could only bomb on and get some crosses going into the final third.

Crassus 4:48 Fri Mar 18
Re: Ben Johnson
Russ of the BML 1:55 Fri Mar 18
Good insight on Moyes and agree with your analysis of Ben

eusebiovic 4:45 Fri Mar 18
Re: Ben Johnson
He's a slow burner but he will get better and better as each season passes.

I like him a lot...he makes the odd mistake but it really seems to bother him to learn from it the next time.

He's more than alright - patience

daveyg 4:40 Fri Mar 18
Re: Ben Johnson
I like him but think he was a tad nervous last night played a couple of poor balls that almost got us in trouble. He also kept checking back and slowing the game down but that might of been as there was no one in the middle at times. But he kept getting in better and better positions. Decision making to put that cross in needed to improve. He got back many times to put out threats. Great engine and stretched thier right flank.
Wish he would shoot more often as he gets in those great positions, has a great shot on him. That will come.

Vexed 3:41 Fri Mar 18
Re: Ben Johnson
Had a really good game last night I thought. Got the physical attributes to be really good but isn't the most talented on the ball. In fact he's quite bad. Getting better though, glad we've signed him up again.

Takashi Miike 3:35 Fri Mar 18
Re: Ben Johnson
very good young player that can play in numerous roles, only the densest of cunts would still be digging him out

Eerie Descent 3:30 Fri Mar 18
Re: Ben Johnson
He's a brilliant player to have in the squad, covering both flanks, he's a very good defender. I don't think he'll be first choice next season though, I've got a funny feeling Ashby will make the breakthrough, Moyes rates him very highly. Only worry is that he seems a bit injury prone.

roltrader 3:10 Fri Mar 18
Re: Ben Johnson
I don't know what to make of this kid at the moment. In Seville he looked like he didn't want the ball at all. Yesterday I thought he had a decent game. Maybe its youth and inexperience hope the manager can work on him

Russ of the BML 1:55 Fri Mar 18
Re: Ben Johnson
I sat close to the pitch last night and Moyes was screaming at him all first half to stay on the line. He would wander inside and Moysie would scream at him and he would get back. It worked as it stretched their midfield and gave us some space to work in the middle.

But anyway, when he was on the touchline some of the balls were zipped into him so fast and at funny heights and every single time it just stuck like glue. Then he would move it before he got shut down. Really classy.

Kids got a great engine and if he could work on his crossing and final ball he will be a hell of a player.

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