Nayef Aguerd is in contention to make his competitive debut for West Ham United in the Europa Conference League clash against Silkeborg IF this evening.
The Lowdown: Injury Troubles
After the 2-0 victory against AFC Bournemouth on Tuesday night, manager David Moyes told Sky Sports that the Moroccan was unlikely to feature in the Premier League before the Qatar World Cup, however, it has now come to light that he may get some minutes in the Europa Conference League instead.
The Latest: Moyes’ Update
As per West Ham United’s official website, the Irons boss has indicated that Aguerd may play against Silkeborg, saying:
“At the moment Nayef is not in contention for Sunday [at Manchester United], but I’m hoping to have him in the squad tomorrow [Thursday]” the manager explained.
“Hopefully I’m getting him back one way or the other.
“What will he bring? At the moment I can’t expect and I don’t want to put too much on him because he needs time, but I think that he’s a really good footballer, he plays the game very well, he’s a good reader of the game, he’s quick enough and he’s good in the air. We see a lot of really good aspects about him.”
The Verdict: Great News
The 6 foot 2 defender, who was dubbed “stylish” by the West Ham boss, is making good progress in a return to the first-team picture, which is great news for the club, considering they will need strength in depth this season, with fixtures likely to mount up in the Europa Conference League knockout stages.
Not only that, but the 25-time Morocco international arrived at the London Stadium with impressive defensive statistics, particularly dominant in the air, averaging 2.94 aerials won per 90 minutes, in the top 13% compared to his positional peers across Europe over the past year.
Being able to get their summer signing up to speed in the Europa Conference League is a blessing for the Hammers, having already qualified for the knockout stages and he will hopefully come through unscathed, ready to play in the Premier League sometime after the World Cup.