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‘Just 1 start’ – 26-year-old clearly made a mistake rejecting West Ham

With the benefit of hindsight, Kamil Kosowski probably had a point. Speaking to Przeglad Sportowy in October, the former Poland international suggested that Jan Bednarek had made a mistake choosing Aston Villa over West Ham United on the final day of the summer transfer window, writes the HITC.

The Southampton-owned centre-back, by his own admission, held ‘talks’ with David Moyes before being lured to Villa Park instead by a sweet-talking Steven Gerrard.

Just six weeks later, Gerrard would receive his P45. Bednarek has played just 90 minutes of football for Aston Villa, and none at all under Unai Emery. And, like Leeds’ Mateusz Klich, the experienced centre-back is now paying for his lack of action at club level on the international stage.

Bednarek hasn’t even got off the bench during Poland’s World Cup campaign in Qatar. That is unlikely to change during Sunday’s round-of-16 clash with France either; Jakub Kiwior and the veteran Kamil Glik now firmly established as Czeslaw Michniewicz’s first-choice defensive partnership.

“(The decision to choose Aston Villa over West Ham) can be described as poor. At Aston Villa, the coach has changed, and Jan is not playing,” explains Kosowski; a veteran of 50 caps between 2001 and 2009.

“I think, if he chose the Hammers’ offer, his chances of playing would be much better.

“West Ham plays in European cups and David Moyes needs a large squad to rotate. Bednarek would have more minutes there. And, without them, it may not be possible to prepare for (a place in the) starting line-up at the World Cup.”

West Ham, Kosowski points out, are under pressure to balance domestic football with a UEFA Conference League campaign. Even if Bednarek could not up-seat Kurt Zouma and Craig Dawson in the Premier League, he surely would have had his fair share of opportunities on the continental stage.

Hindsight, as they say, is a wonderful thing. It’s tempting to wonder if Bednarek would now make a different decision if he could roll back the clock to August 31st.