The Lowdown: No backing in January…
Following what was a regrettable January transfer window, manager David Moyes will have to contend with his current crop as he aims to guide the Hammers to Champions League qualification whilst keeping their Europa League dreams alive.
West Ham are now out of the FA Cup following last night’s disappointing 3-1 away defeat to Southampton and, depending on their European chase, face the prospect of going trophy-less for another campaign.
Moyes will need some members of his squad to rediscover their best form with Agbonlahor not impressed with three Irons stars in particular.
The Latest: Agbonlahor slams ‘overrated’ trio…
Speaking to FI, the ex-Aston Villa striker has ripped into Said Benrahma, Pablo Fornals and Manuel Lanzini – simply stating they don’t offer enough threat for Moyes.
“Apart from Antonio and Bowen, there are no other attacking players in that squad that I rate,” he explained.
“I think Benrahma is overrated, I think Lanzini and Fornals are overrated, they’re average. They need more help, they need more pace on the wings.
“I like Bowen on the right but can they get more pace on the left-wing? Benrahma drifts out of games and is subbed early.”
The Verdict: Right to criticise?
According to WhoScored, Agbonlahor may be right to single out members of this trio, but others remain up for debate.
Lanzini, for example, could arguably be questioned given he is statistically one of West Ham’s worst performers in the Premier League – averaging a 6.68 match rating and ranking among the lowliest of Moyes’ performers (WhoScored).
However, while there is evidence of Benrahma ‘drifting out’, he’s also averaged the third-most shots at goal per 90 with only Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio managing more goals/assists combined (WhoScored) – perhaps indicating he can still be a threat.
Fornals, who has made the joint-second most key passes per 90 for West Ham in England’s top flight, is another who comes in as a mixed bag – with the Spaniard also among West Ham’s best in terms of goals/assists this season.
The fact these players are attracting such fierce criticism could bring into debate the validity of stats in certain cases, but one thing is for certain, Moyes will need the best out of Fornals, Benrahma and Lanzini if West Ham wish to finish 2021/2022 strongly.
In other news: Insider: Moyes’ brand new transfer demand could now spell the end for ‘fantastic’ West Ham player, find out more here.
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