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‘Relegation’ Roger Johnson release paves way for West Ham return

| 02.02.2015

As the minutes  count down towards the transfer window slamming shut and with West Ham reportedly ‘definitely’ signing a centre back this window, options are becoming limited.

But with Roger Johnson being released from his horror contract at Wolves, a return to east London moved even closer.

Johnson had fallen out with boss Kenny Jackett, and it was blatantly clear that his career at Molineux was over, with no appearances for the club since May 2013.

The former Birmingham City centre back spent five months in east London last season, making six appearances for the Hammers in total, as Sam Allardyce steered his side to a respectable mid-table finish.

But with first choice defenders James Collins, James Tomkins and Winston Reid set for a spell on the sidelines through injury Sam Allardyce is looking short on options.

A move for Younes Kaboul which was mooted earlier on in the afternoon has not yet been completed, and  a push for Sylvain Distin has not come to fruition.

With Premier League experience to his name, and the fact that he would be available for nothing could mean the Hammers see Johnson as a perfect short term option to cover their injury crisis at the back.

Dubbed ‘Relegation Roger’ due to the fact he faced the drop in three consecutive seasons, Johnson has featured at the top level of English football over 90 times.

A potentially small wage package and low overall outlay mean the Upton Park outfit would still have enough in the bank to move for another defender, perhaps completing the aforementioned moves for Distin or Kaboul.

Whether it is Johnson, Distin, Kaboul or someone else, Sam Allardyce will be desperate to confirm a defender before his time runs out.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.