By Joe Ellis

29th Dec, 2021 | 12:15pm

Kurt Zouma could return to West Ham side before the end of January

Kurt Zouma could be set for a rapid return from injury and be back playing for West Ham before the transfer window closes, according to Claret and Hugh.

It was earlier in December that the £30million signing from Chelsea was forced off against his former club having damaged a tendon in his hamstring.

Hammers boss David Moyes originally feared he could be without the imposing French defender for 12 weeks but he could return in just eight.

Much Needed reinforcement

West Ham have been suffering with injury problems in defence with Angelo Ogbonna also out of action long term which has seen 24-year-old Issa Diop become a regular in recent weeks.

Moyes has considered bringing in defensive reinforcements in January but he could be tempted to hold off if Zouma can prove his fitness and retake his place in the Hammers backline.

A new face and an extra pair of legs would be highly valuable for the Irons however with the resumption of the Europa League in February to go alongside their Premier League campaign and potential advancements in the FA Cup.

Some of West Ham’s table-topping Under-23s have already featured in first team squads and many were selected in the Hammers’ final Europa League group game against Dinamo Zagreb of Croatia.

They will likely be involved again when West Ham host Leeds in the FA Cup third round on 9 January.

Such players as Duje Caleta-Car and Nathan Ake have been previously linked with a move to the London Stadium to strengthen the defensive unit.

But West Ham fans will be glad to hear of Zouma’s rapid progress and imminent return to training even if his next game is still a few weeks away.

In other West Ham news, a former Hammer has returned to the club in a coaching role.