West Ham United ward off Tottenham Hotspur interest in defender Ben Johnson with contract extension
According to the Evening Standard, West Ham United have successfully tied down defender Ben Johnson to a two-year contract extension, warding off interest from London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
The defender is highly versatile, capable of playing at right-back, left-back, or even in midfield if required. These attributes of him make him highly valuable to a Premier League club like Tottenham, who could do with options across the pitch.
However, any chance of signing the Hammers star in the summer has gone up in smoke after the Englishman committed his future with his boyhood club that keeps him at the London Stadium until 2024.
Spurs were not the only club interested in the player, however, as Arsenal and Liverpool were also said to be sniffing around for the defender in the summer. West Ham will be delighted to have secured the long-term future of their prized youngster.
Conte misses out on Johnson
Tottenham manager Antonio Conte wants a player who could fill in at the right wing-back position, and Johnson was touted to be a potential target in the summer. This need was also present due to the club being unable to sign someone for the role in January.
With the Englishman set to be a free agent in the summer once his contract runs out, West Ham opted to act quickly to tie the defender down for a few more years instead of rolling the dice and taking their chances.
This news comes as yet another transfer blow to Spurs following the heartbreak in the January transfer window. The club was unable to sign their primary targets in Adama Traore and Luis Diaz, who instead joined Barcelona and Liverpool respectively.
Instead, it took a deadline day move to raid Juventus for Dejan Kulusevksi and Rodrigo Bentancur to appease Conte. Luckily for the club, the pair have settled into life at N17, with the former scoring a goal and picking up an assist in Tottenham’s impressive league win against Manchester City.
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Although the Lilywhites have options in Emerson Royal and Matt Doherty at right wing-back, the Spurs duo have not been consistent enough to impress Conte till now, which explains his need for someone new in the position. Emerson only moved to north London the previous summer but has not worked his way into the Italian’s plans as of yet.
For now, it looks like Tottenham will need to give up on chasing Johnson in the summer and look elsewhere for other options on the right flank. Only time will tell if the club pursues the Hammers star once again in the future.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism