Key midfielder to miss three of West Ham’s next four games after fresh ban

West Ham United have been rocked by a fresh ban that will keep key midfielder Edson Alvarez sidelined for three of the next four games across all competitions.

The Mexican defensive midfielder has been a pivotal part of David Moyes’ setup since arriving at the London Stadium last summer, but he is set to miss crucial games in the season’s run-in.

Alvarez picked up his tenth yellow card in the Premier League during the 1-1 draw against Aston Villa over the weekend, triggering a two-match domestic ban.

The 26-year-old was also booked in the 5-0 thrashing of Freiburg in midweek, with many Hammers criticising Moyes for not taking him off with the tie already in the bag.

That yellow card also triggered a one-game European suspension, effectively ruling him out for three of West Ham’s next four games in all competitions.

Alvarez will miss crucial Premier League games against Newcastle United and bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur after the international break that could define their chances of clinching a Europa League slot.

“El Machin” will return to the fold for the subsequent trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers but is then suspended for the first leg of the quarter-final clash against Bayer Leverkusen.

Alvarez’s absence will undoubtedly impact the Hammers

Alvarez has been a crucial part of the starting XI since his arrival. He has featured in 25 Premier League games, contributing a goal and an assist, but his defensive metrics have been key for the Hammers.

He has been dominant in ground duels, winning 54% of his battles while recording 1.2 interceptions, 2.6 tackles, 2.5 clearances, and 5.5 ball recoveries per game.

Alvarez’s 70% dribble success rate effectively makes him press-resistant and important in West Ham’s build-up play, and we will miss his nimble footwork in the upcoming games.

However, his absence could present yet another opportunity for the struggling Kalvin Phillips to salvage his awful loan spell in East London, having failed to impress since joining from Manchester City in January.