Are West Ham really feeling James Tomkins' absence this season?

James Tomkins of Crystal Palace looks dejected after the Caraboa Cup Fourth Round match between Bristol City and Crystal Palace at Ashton Gate on October 24, 2017 in Bristol, England.

West Ham United could do with the defender who is now at Crystal Palace.

James Tomkins of Crystal Palace looks dejected after the Caraboa Cup Fourth Round match between Bristol City and Crystal Palace at Ashton Gate on October 24, 2017 in Bristol, England.

West Ham United continue to make plenty of headlines following the departure of Slaven Bilic, but the Croatian's tenure at the Hammers could have been a little easier had they not sold James Tomkins to Crystal Palace in the summer of 2016.

With West Ham struggling at centre-back and, both prior to Pablo Zabaleta's arrival and following his latest injury, at right-back, Bilic could have done with a player who can do a job in either position.

Javier Hernandez of West Ham United and James Tomkins of Crystal Palace battle for possession during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and West Ham United at Selhurst Park on...

Instead, Tomkins has had to make do with a bit-part role at Palace, starting just twice in the league this season and wondering where it all went wrong.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, in football as in life, and on reflection West Ham could have benefited from keeping the versatile defender rather than cashing in for a reported £10million in June 2016 (as reported by the Guardian).

Marouane Fellaini of Manchester United and James Tomkins of West Ham United compete for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and West Ham United at...

West Ham's struggles have already seen to Bilic's job and it will take more than a few weeks to sort out the problems with the squad.

More strength in depth is vital, as is a rethink when it comes to certain key areas, including at the back and in the centre of the field.

As for Tomkins, West Ham may have parted company with him thinking they had sufficient cover, but on reflection he could have played a vital role this time round.

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