- Slaven Bilic has revealed Angelo Ogbonna will miss the remainder of the season with injury
- The defender has been playing with a problem all season
- He helped the Hammers to a 3-1 win over Middlesbrough on Saturday and has played 25 times this campaign
West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic revealed after his side’s 3-1 win over Middlesbrough that defender Angelo Ogbonna will miss the remainder of the season with injury.
The Italian, who played a major part in the Hammers’ crucial victory at the Riverside Stadium, will have an operation this week in an attempt to resolve an injury problem he has been dealing with all season.
Ogbonna has played 25 times for the Club this season and, despite playing with a niggle all campaign, racked up his 18th successive Premier League start on Saturday.
Bilic sounded his disappointment over the loss of the centre-back but also expressed his excitement at the prospect of seeing new signing and UEFA Euro 2016 winner Jose Fonte in action at the heart of the Hammers’ defence.
“I have to praise Angelo Ogbonna, because he has played the whole season with an injury,” Bilic confirmed. “He needs an operation on his knee to be fit long-term, and it was supposed to be a couple of weeks but we asked him to play a couple more games.
“He will now have it after today’s game which will rule him out until the end of the season. But we have Fonte now. He wasn’t even our target because we didn’t think he was going to be available but when we found out he was, we jumped on it straight away because he’s a great player.
“He has played here for eight, nine or ten years and he has won the Euros and he’s a great addition to our team.”
Ogbonna signed for the Club in the summer of 2015 from Italian champions Juventus and made 39 appearances in Claret and Blue in last season’s historic final campaign at the Boleyn Ground.
He began this season down the pecking order in the side’s defence but forced his way into the starting XI before becoming a key man as the Club turned their fortunes around after a tricky start to 2016/17.
Meanwhile, the Club confirmed the £8 million purchase of former Southampton man Fonte on Friday.