Former West Ham striker Frank McAvenne believes Craig Dawson should be thrown immediately back into the starting XI following his return from injury.

Dawson made his return from injury earlier this month and was on the scoresheet against Silkeborg in the Europa Conference League.

He was in the matchday squad for the first time in the Premier League this season as David Moyes’ men lost 1-0 at Everton last time out.

It was the Irons’ fifth defeat of the campaign already, leaving them in 18th place with just four points.

And with just three goals scored, the Hammers have the joint-worst attack in the division They have had problems at the back, too, with just one clean sheet in their opening seven league games, and McAvennie believes Dawson should be restored to the initial line-up.

In his column for the West Ham Zone he said: “I think he’s got to get right in.

“You can’t beat experience and I think he’s got to be put right back in.

“He’s a no-nonsense centre half, that’s what we need. He doesn’t mess about, he doesn’t dribble out of the back, he just clears it. Clears it. Clears his lines, puts his tackles in, gets his body in front of the ball and that’s all you can ask for from a centre-half.

“He’s got to come back in as quick as.”

Indeed, with 238 English top-flight matches, Dawson certainly has a wealth of experience under his belt but the £52k-per-week ace has been pushed down the pecking order following the summer arrivals of Thilo Kehrer and Nayef Aguerd.

Kehrer has started each of the last five league games alongside Kurt Zouma but having recovered from injury, perhaps Dawson would never have lost his place to begin with.

Hailed as ‘incredible’ by former captain Mark Noble following their historic Europa League quarter-final win in Lyon, the former England U21 international was first for blocks (1.5) and second for clearances (4.1) made per 90 in the Premier League last season, according to WhoScored.

He almost left the club in the summer but a move to Wolves collapsed and now the 32-year-old veteran could still have a part to play. If McAvennie has his way, that will start at home to Wolves this weekend.