West Ham to start Ben Johnson contract talks and upgrade deal expiring in 2022

West Ham are preparing to offer a new contract to young defender Ben Johnson after his impressive form of late.

Johnson, 21, recently came into the Hammers side to replace the injured Vladimir Coufal, an opportunity which he has grabbed with both hands.

His seven starts this season have all ended in victory for David Moyes' side, including the recent 4-1 win over Aston Villa in which he scored the opening goal.

The right-back cut in onto his left foot and fired a splendid finish into the bottom corner of the net to help his side cement fourth place in the Premier League table.

Johnson's current contract at the London Stadium expires at the end of the season, but there is an option for a two-year extension.

Regardless of that fact, the West Ham hierarchy are keen to start talks over fresh terms with the academy graduate, as per the Daily Express.

His performance against Villa was about more than just his well-taken goal.

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He stood out as the best player on the pitch for tackles and interceptions, making eight and four respectively.

In fact, he has completed all 14 of the tackles he has attempted in the Premier League so far this season.

Coufal has now returned to fitness but is behind Johnson in the pecking order, despite the Czech being a fan-favourite since his arrival.

Johnson was recently asked about his progress and credited Moyes for the step up to the starting XI.

He told the club website: "To be fair, it’s testament to the manager to be honest. When I’ve been out of the team, he’s always prepared me as if I am playing.

“Of course, I’m playing under Vlad and Ryan on the right and obviously Cress on the left, working with them and seeing what they do well is something that’s helped me a lot.

“Sometimes last year, could I have been ready to come in? We don’t know, but now I think I’ve seized the opportunity and wanted to enjoy my football, which is what I’ve always done. When you get to the big boys, why not enjoy it?”

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