The injury to Lukasz Fabianski looks to have hit West Ham hard, but his back-up, Roberto, is ready to take the reins. Fabianski has been an ever-present in the Premier League since signing from Swansea in the summer of 2018. but is now set for two to three months on the sidelines after suffering a hip injury in Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Bournemouth.
Roberto has so far had to make do with EFL Cup action this season. However, with the club crashing out of that competition courtesy of last Wednesday’s 4-0 defeat to League One Oxford, he looked set to spend the rest the of the campaign on the bench.
That all changed on Saturday when the Spaniard was brought on for Fabianski and made some smart saves, the best of which came as he stayed big to thwart Callum Wilson.
It would have been 3-1 without his intervention, all but ending the game as a contest, but his stop kept the fixture alive and Aaron Cresswell grabbed an equaliser soon afterwards.
Roberto joined the club on a free transfer from Espanyol, adding England to the list of countries he has played in alongside Spain, Portugal and Greece.
The 33-year-old was recruited alongside David Martin to act as understudies to the excellent Fabianski, but he now looks set for a run in the side heading towards the busy Christmas period.
While still a relative unknown on these shores, the Madrid-born custodian says he is ready to take his chance.
Roberto told the club’s website: “It’s part of the position that you have the situation where you are not in the first XI, but we have to be ready every time as these sorts of things can happen.
“Yes, I work every day to make everything possible and now, if I have this chance, I feel absolutely ready, so I am not feeling nervous.”
West Ham are next in action on Saturday when they host Crystal Palace in the Premier League’s late game.