David Moyes has suggested that one of West Ham’s standout performers this season could be at risk of losing their place for the upcoming European final, writes the HammerNews. The anticipation is mounting as West Ham prepares to take on Fiorentina in the highly anticipated Europa Conference League final, scheduled for June 7th in Prague. As the big game draws near, nerves will inevitably set in.
This match holds immense historical significance for the Hammers, as David Moyes and his team aim to secure the club’s first major trophy in 43 years. With substantial investments totaling £185m made in the past two transfer windows, many have acclaimed this West Ham squad as the best ever assembled. This sentiment is reinforced by the presence of numerous international players within their ranks.
However, West Ham has encountered difficulties throughout what has been a disappointing Premier League campaign. Moyes has observed that when he has given opportunities to backup players, they have failed to sufficiently challenge the regular starting XI. However, there has been one player who has been making strides in this regard, and this development could spell trouble for Said Benrahma. Moyes has hinted that one of West Ham’s standout performers this season could potentially lose their spot for the upcoming Euro final.
While Leicester fought fiercely in their 2-1 victory against West Ham on the final game of the league season, the Hammers had their focus firmly fixed on the impending final. Pablo Fornals, who has been in good form lately, including his goal against AZ Alkmaar, pulled one back for West Ham. It was Fornals who replaced Benrahma in the match against AZ Alkmaar when he scored that memorable goal. Moyes has been duly impressed by Fornals’ attitude and recent performances.
As a result, Moyes has specifically highlighted Fornals and effectively issued a warning to Benrahma that his place in the final is in jeopardy. While Moyes’ preferred starting XI almost picks itself when everyone is fit, there is a competition between Benrahma and Fornals for the left side. With the need for Tomas Soucek’s aerial prowess against Fiorentina, who excel in set pieces, and Fornals unlikely to displace Declan Rice, Lucas Paqueta, or Jarrod Bowen in the starting lineup, it becomes clear who Fornals would potentially replace.
Thus, when Moyes mentioned in an interview with West Ham’s website after the Leicester game that Fornals has performed well enough to potentially earn a place in the starting XI for the final, it becomes evident whose position he would take.
“Pablo manipulates the ball and finds a way of getting a goal quite often,” Moyes said.
“He’s been a bit unlucky for long parts of the season but he’s playing well. He played really well at Alkmaar, he played really well against Leeds United and I thought he played well today.
“He’s certainly putting himself in the frame to get a start because of how well he’s doing and he’s scoring goals, which is the thing we need.”