West Ham handed James Ward-Prowse injury boost for Man City challenge

James Ward-Prowse has eased West Ham’s injury fears after returning to training ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Manchester City.

The midfielder has enjoyed a superb start to life in east London following his £30million summer move from Southampton, with goal involvements in all three of his Hammers appearances so far.

Despite that form, Ward-Prowse was left out of Gareth Southgate’s latest England squad and missed several days of training during the international break with a minor injury.

However, the 28-year-old played a full part in training at Rush Green on Wednesday and is expected to be fit to start when the champions visit the London Stadium on Saturday afternoon, as David Moyes’s side prepare for their fine unbeaten start to the campaign to be put to its toughest test.

Pep Guardiola is likely to be back in the City dugout after returning to work this week following back surgery. Guardiola returned to his native Spain for treatment last month, leaving assistant coach Juanma Lillo to take charge of the wins over Fulham and Sheffield United that continued City’s 100 per cent record so far this term.

Impressive start: James Ward-Prowse has instantly become a fan favourite at West Ham (Getty Images)
Impressive start: James Ward-Prowse has instantly become a fan favourite at West Ham (Getty Images)

Meanwhile, West Ham assistant boss Kevin Nolan confirmed on Wednesday night that the club came “very close” to signing Harry Maguire from Manchester United this summer.

The Irons had a £30million deal in place for the England centre-back, but Maguire could not agree terms on his pay-off for leaving Old Trafford and eventually decided to stay at the club, with West Ham instead signing former Arsenal defender Konstantinos Mavropanos from Stuttgart.

“I think it was very close, I was a bit upset that we didn’t make it,” Nolan told talkSPORT. “I think it was just in the end, the money didn’t get sorted from what I can gather which is obviously upsetting from our behalf because we wanted to [sign him].

“Probably upsetting from Harry’s behalf and probably United’s behalf as well.”

“I think the gaffer was in contact with Harry, his agent and everything else but yeah, obviously we then had to move on to our next target.”