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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 13, 2006

Katan considered for West Ham debut

West Ham manager Alan Pardew could be ready to give Yaniv Katan his first taste of Premiership action at Aston Villa on Saturday.

The Israel international was signed from Maccabi Haifa for only £100,000 when the transfer window opened, and made his debut as a late substitute in the 2-1 FA Cup win at Norwich last weekend.

The 24-year-old, who can play through the middle or in an advanced role on either flank, was handed another run-out for the reserves in the 1-1 draw at Southampton on Tuesday night.

And Pardew admits he may well be tempted to unleash Katan against Villa.

'He did well against Norwich and I have been buoyed by his progress,' said the Hammers boss.

'He has settled in already, was terrific in the reserves, and I brought him off early in case he has a role to play on Saturday.'

The West Ham boss is keen to bring in another 'offensive' player before the transfer window closes, and this week saw his attacking options reduced when David Bellion joined Nice.

The striker had been on loan from Manchester United, but Pardew admits a lack of regular first-team opportunities at Upton Park was behind the decision to allow the 23-year-old to move on.

'It just did not work out, as David just did not play enough games,' Pardew said.

'I did not want to keep a player on loan that really was so desperate to play.

'It was unfair on him, and unfair on me.

'He was terrific while he was here - he was very professional, but he just wanted desperately to play.

'So I gave him that opportunity and sanctioned his move to Nice.'

Centre-half Daniel Gabbidon returned from a knee injury against Norwich, and now hopes the Hammers can use their FA Cup win to kick-start their league campaign following four defeats in the last five.

The 26-year-old Wales defender said: 'We have to stand up now and show how good we really are.

'We proved over the first half of the season we can put in good performances and get results.

'Now we have got to prove ourselves again, go out there and start picking up some wins.'

Midfielder Yossi Benayoun faces a late fitness test on his thigh problem, but is rated as doubtful.

Goalkeeper Roy Carroll missed the Cup win at Norwich with a similar injury, but has been back in training this week and is expected to return to the side.

Veteran striker Teddy Sheringham (calf) is still not match fit, but could return to the squad for the match against Fulham on January 23.