West Ham are reportedly planning to offer a first-team star a new deal to prevent him from leaving for free in the summer.
The Irons are flying high right now, both in the Premier League and in Europe. They currently sit fourth in the league after ten matches, three points ahead of fifth-placed Man Utd.
David Moyes’ side have also won all three of their Europa League matches so far. They sit top of Group H with a solid six-point lead.
West Ham are on an impressive five-game winning run as things stand. That includes a Prem win over Tottenham and a Carabao Cup victory over previous holders Man City.
Moyes will be hoping his men can make it six on the bounce when they play Genk in the Europa League on Thursday evening.
One player who looks set to feature is academy graduate Ben Johnson. The 21-year-old has filled in at right-back while Vladimir Coufal has been out with a groin injury.
He has performed well and even opened the scoring in the recent 4-1 win over Aston Villa. Johnson cut inside on Matt Targett and sent a powerful left-footed effort into the far corner. He was later joined by Declan Rice, Pablo Fornals and Jarrod Bowen on the scoresheet.
The Daily Star, citing the Express, provide an update on Johnson’s future. They write that West Ham are ready to begin contract talks with the Englishman.
They want to offer him a big pay rise to reward his improved standing in the team. The east London side also need to sort out his long-term future. Johnson’s current deal expires in June, which means he could potentially leave for free if new terms cannot be agreed.
West Ham want to make an example of Johnson. He is a great illustration of how academy graduates can make it into the senior squad under Moyes.
The player has featured 32 times for the club in all competitions, scoring two goals.
Moyes: Johnson has stepped in ‘really well’
Moyes heaped praise on Johnson during Wednesday’s press conference. “I’m really pleased for Ben because he has been a bit of utility player for us, but he is a really important player,” the Scot said.
“Quite often we’ve brought him on in different roles and he’s not let us down.
“It’s competition for Vladimir and I’ve got Ryan Fredericks as well. He’s stepped in really well in a period when I didn’t haver either of the other two right-backs available to me.”
Coufal could return for Sunday’s home clash against Liverpool. However, Johnson may be able to keep his place for that game if he performs well against Genk.