West Ham United have been dealt an injury setback as Nayef Aguerd is now not set to return to domestic action until after the World Cup…
The Lowdown: Aguerd Missing
Aguerd arrived at the London Stadium for a fee of around £30m back in June but he has so far failed to make a competitive appearance for his club, having suffered an ankle injury during a pre-season clash against Rangers, which subsequently required surgery.
The 6 foot 3 colossus in defence was initially given a good chance of returning before the Premier League takes a break for the Qatar World Cup, but a new update has been given that indicates he will be out for longer than expected.
The Latest: Worse Than First Feared
Speaking to Sky Sports after the 2-0 victory against Bournemouth on Monday night, David Moyes delivered an injury update on the Moroccan international, saying:
“Nayef Aguerd will go and play for Morocco in the World Cup, actually in a way that might help us, because it’s probably more unlikely that he’ll be ready for any Premier League games before the World Cup.”
It comes just ten or so days after the manager suggested that he would return to the pitch for West Ham before the extended international break, as per the club’s official website, so it appears as if things have changed since then.
As such, it indicates that while the 26-year-old isn’t too far away from recovery now, he will have to gain some fitness with his national side before finally starting for the Irons.
The Verdict: Needed Back
While we are unable to assess how the former Stade Rennes man may adapt to life in the Premier League, all the signifiers point towards him being a success at his new club.
Once dubbed a “monster in the air” by journalist Jonathan Fadugba, the £22.5m-rated Aguerd impressed considerably during his stint in Ligue 1, winning on average 2.94 aerials per 90 minutes over the past year, in the top 13% for defenders in this area.
Fellow summer-signing Thilo Kehrer has impressed at times this season, solid in defence against Bournemouth last time out, but he struggles in the air, only averaging 1.1 aerial wins per 90, in comparison to the 26-year-old.
As such, when Aguerd finally does start for his new club, it will be a huge boost for West Ham and it’ll be a big blow to both Moyes and the team to not have him before then.