West Ham United defender Pablo Zabaleta has said that the upcoming season will be his last in English football.
When asked about his plans beyond next term, the player said: “I don’t know, honestly,” as reported by Sky Sports.
“The reason I am here is because I’m still enjoying my football and, of course, the manager was one of the reasons I chose to extend my contract.
“It’s always good to work with a manager you know very well from previous years working together, and also because I think I can still give 100 per cent for the team and use my experience.
“I know I am 34 and getting a bit old and coming to the end of my career, but I am honest with myself and I am still a good professional and I will try to give everything for the team.
“I am still enjoying being in and around the team and helping young players.”
This seemingly confirms that while he will leave West Ham next summer, he will continue his career perhaps in a less demanding league such as in USA or the Far East, or at the very least return to his homeland of Argentina.
Zabaleta will have a very big role to play for Manuel Pellegrini’s Hammers side next season.
Despite being 34-years-old, the West Ham veteran remains good enough to play at the highest level. The East Londoners will also be aiming to use him to guide up and coming players such as Grady Diangana and Declan Rice.
The upcoming season will be the veteran’s third with West Ham. He joined the club in 2017 after bringing an end to his long-term association with Manchester City.
West Ham will be aiming for European football next season. The club showed plenty of positives during the past season but need to improve if they want to challenge the so-called top six sides.
As a matter of priority, they need to sign a proven scorer this summer. The fact that none of the strikers were really consistent during the past season played a big role in why the club did not manage to challenge for a top six finish.