Could Gokhan Tore's injury be a blessing in disguise for West Ham United?
West Ham United’s injury problems continue to worsen as the Sun report that on loan winger Gokhan Tore has suffered a thigh injury which will keep him out of action for at least five weeks. The news may initially seem a bad one, given that it adds to the injury list which currently features the likes of Andy Carroll and Andre Ayew, just as it seemed that things may have turned a corner with Aaron Cresswell and Diafra Sakho nearing a return to fitness. That said, Tore’s absence may actually prove to benefit the side, given Tore’s poor form and the other options on offer.
The news comes after speculation suggested that Slaven Bilic was investigating the possibility of sending him back to former club Besiktas by cancelling the loan deal due to the 24-year-old’s shocking start to the season. With a pass completion ratio of just 71.4%, Tore has been woeful to date, not just with his poor passing but with his failure to deliver a good final ball into the box, struggling to beat his man and often showing an atrocious first touch when receiving the ball.
Despite that, Tore started the first three games of the season and it seemed that Bilic, who also coached him at Besiktas, would keep the faith in his loan signing in the hope that he would come good. However, Tore has been restricted to the bench in three of the last four games for the Hammers and failed to even make the matchday squad of 18 when Southampton visited the London Stadium.
The injury to the Turkish winger is also likely to allow Sofiane Feghouli more game time in his preferred position of the right wing. The Algerian is yet to start a Premier League game since his free transfer signing from Valencia in the summer as he has fought a hamstring injury and now struggles to force himself into the first team. Tore’s absence is likely to allow him that opportunity, and Feghouli has all of the attributes to be the player that Bilic and Hammers fans hoped that Tore would be.
With pace and power, Feghouli developed a reputation in La Liga for his driving runs at full-backs which caused problems even up against the best sides in the league. His deadly deliveries are also likely to be a hit at the London Stadium, with Michail Antonio already having shown this campaign that he can be deadly when given good service in the air, and the likes of Jonathan Calleri and Simone Zaza may also breathe a sigh of relief at the prospect of some better service.
Hammers fans have not been best pleased by Tore’s contribution to date, and whilst the club needs all the players it can get as they fight to turn things around and escape the relegation zone, starting with Saturday’s clash at Selhurst Park against Crystal Palace, Tore’s absence is unlikely to hinder their chances in doing so. In forcing Bilic to field Feghouli on the right, or even Antonio on the right with a natural striker in the middle, the Irons could prove a more deadly attacking force which would undoubtedly help them as they try to outscore teams whilst leaking goals at the other end.
Featured Image: All rights reserved by Habergaraj.
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