Robert Snodgrass has emerged as an unlikely key figure for West Ham following talks with Manuel Pellegrini.
The Scottish winger’s future with the Hammers looked bleak this time last year after he was farmed out on loan to Aston Villa for the season.
His West Ham career was beset by problems ever since he was signed in January 2017, in the aftermath of Dimitri Payet’s acrimonious departure.
Joint-owner David Sullivan subsequently revealed in a newspaper interview that his chidren had begged him not to buy Snodgrass, while vice-chairman Karren Brady admitted his transfer “wasn’t exactly a triumph”.
Snodgrass himself later claimed that then Hammers boss Slaven Bilic did not even know which position he played in.
When new manager Pellegrini brought in nine players this summer the 30-year-old’s prospects looked increasingly grim – but despite West Ham’s slow start to the season Snodgrass has actually been one of their stand-out players.
“I spoke before we started the season with all the players and said all of them had a chance,” revealed Pellegrini. “And when you have a chance to play you must demonstrate why you are playing.
“Maybe some players must wait a little bit more, but when they have the opportunity they must not miss it. He is doing very well and I am happy for him.
“I am not aware of his troubles last season. But I am not surprised with him because I saw him at Norwich, and I saw what he did last season at Aston Villa.
“I know him as a player, and after that it depends on the performance of the player.
“He started his pre-season with us, he did very well, now he is working, he is playing and now he must try to stay in the starting XI.”
West Ham host Wolves on Saturday looking to register their first points of the season.
Marko Arnautovic and Mark Noble have been passed fit after sitting out the midweek Carabao Cup win at AFC Wimbledon.