Is Zabaleta to thank for Fonte's improved form at West Ham?

Jose Fonte of West Ham United in action during a Pre Season Friendly between Manchester City and West Ham United at the Laugardalsvollur stadium on August 4, 2017 in Reykjavik, Iceland.

The West Ham United centre-back has been a different player this season.

Jose Fonte of West Ham United in action during a Pre Season Friendly between Manchester City and West Ham United at the Laugardalsvollur stadium on August 4, 2017 in Reykjavik, Iceland.

It is fair to say that Jose Fonte did not have the best of times directly after his move from Southampton to West Ham United, with Hammers fans quickly questioning exactly why their club forked out for the shaky centre-back.

Despite impressing at the Saints, Fonte looked all over the place at the London Stadium, and he was quickly labeled a flop by some supporters.

This season, however, is another story with the Portuguese international looking far more impressive even if West Ham are continuing to struggle for consistency, so could one of their most recent additions have helped Fonte rediscover his mojo?

Ben Davies of Tottenham Hotspur and Pablo Zabaleta of West Ham United battle for possession during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur at London Stadium...

Pablo Zabaleta has been superb since arriving at West Ham on a free transfer, and his presence alongside Fonte appears to have given the latter a second wind.

There is little doubt that the Argentine has been the Hammers' standout performer in the early weeks of the campaign, and Fonte looks all the better with the veteran right-back next to him.

Better players breed better performances in their teammates and that has certainly been the case with the Zabaleta and Fonte.

West Ham United's Portuguese defender Jose Fonte vies with Tottenham Hotspur's South Korean striker Son Heung-Min (R) during the English Premier League football match between West Ham...

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic still has work to do in the months ahead, but there are positives to be taken and if he can get his attacking line-up right, the Hammers could still be set for a decent campaign.

As for Fonte, he will know that with a World Cup on the horizon he needs to perform well to ensure his place on the plane with Portugal, and that can only be good news for his club.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch