Ex-Sunderland man Mensah fails to win West Ham deal

John Mensah

John Mensah

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FORMER Sunderland defender John Mensah will not be offered a contract by West Ham after an unsuccessful trial at Upton Park.

The Ghanaian centre-half spent last week training with the Hammers, alongside fellow free agents ex-Manchester United defender Mikael Silvestre and former Portsmouth midfielder Anthony Vanden Borre.

But Hammers boss Sam Allardyce has opted not to sign any of the trio, with Mensah – released by Lyon in the summer after making just one appearance for the French outfit last season – now rumoured to be interesting Blackburn Rovers.

Allardyce said: “We have had one or two trialists in but none of them have been offered a contract because I think that I already have enough quality within my squad.

“I don’t want to take a player for the sake of it, even though we had some very good players come in on trial.

“My decision was to not offer them anything and I am happy with the squad I have now and hopefully it will continue to improve as they get to know each other better.”

West Ham have taken seven points from their opening four games and face a Sunderland side tomorrow still searching for their first win of the season.

But former Black Cats centre-half Allardyce believes Sunderland’s fixture programme, which has seen them play just once at the Stadium of Light, masks their modest tally of three points.

“The last two away games they played were against Arsenal and Swansea,” said Allardyce.

“Everybody is buzzing about the free-scoring nature of Arsenal yet Sunderland managed to get a 0-0 draw.

“Then, against Swansea they took the lead twice and, knowing Martin (O’Neill) as I do, he will have felt disappointed not to win the game.

“I know what to expect from Sunderland having studied those two games and also from knowing Martin and the way he structures his teams.

“We have to make sure we are capable of breaking them down and ensure that when we create opportunities, we take them.”

Allardyce is also well aware of the danger posed by £12million Black Cats frontman Steven Fletcher, who already boasts three goals in two Premier League outings.

“It is a great move for him and I think that he has already began to reward Sunderland for the fee they paid by becoming the scorer he was at Wolves,” added the ex-Newcastle United boss.

“After moving from Scotland to Burnley where he was relegated, then to Wolves where he was relegated again, he now has the opportunity to score goals on a regular basis for an established Premier League side. It looks like a great bit of business.”