David Moyes has provided an explanation for Flynn Downes’ limited game time since his transfer to the club. As writes the HITC, Moyes has also revealed that the midfielder has recently sustained an injury.
Downes joined the London Stadium last July for a transfer fee of £12m and signed a five-year contract worth £32k-a-week. However, he has only played for a total of 1,053 minutes across 23 appearances in all competitions, with Moyes having started him in only 11 games.
Downes has started only four Premier League games and has been used as a substitute eight times, while he has been an unused substitute in 13 top-flight fixtures. On average, he has played only 4.4 full 90-minute matches. Instead, Moyes has given Downes more playing time in West Ham’s Europa Conference League matches, where he has played for a total of 476 minutes.
Downes recently started in a match against AEK Larnaca and played for the full 90 minutes, but Moyes has stated that the former England U20 player suffered an ankle injury during the second half of the match. Despite his injury, Moyes allowed Downes to play for the full 90 minutes in the match against AEK Larnaca, even though he knew that the midfielder would be unavailable for their second leg due to the injury.
During the match, Downes received a yellow card in the 68th minute, which means that he will be banned for one match due to accumulating three cautions in the competition. Although Moyes wanted Downes to get as many minutes as possible to find opportunities, he also believes that the midfielder needs to work on certain aspects. Moyes acknowledges that it can be challenging for players to adjust to the step up from the Championship.
Moyes said: “We’re trying to give Flynn the opportunities at the right time.”
“We’re pleased with what he’s doing [but] we think there are things he can improve on. But it’s not easy breaking into the Premier League from the Championship and if you look at the people who’ve done it, it can take a bit of time. We hope he continues to develop and we’re happy for him.”