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David Moyes hints he could unleash ‘potential star’ for West Ham tonight

Giuseppe Labellarte

West Ham United manager David Moyes has provided an update on Nayef Aguerd ahead of the Europa Conference League meeting with Silkeborg.

The 26-year-old defender joined the Hammers from Rennes in the summer for a reported £28million.

However, Aguerd is yet to feature competitively for West Ham.

West Ham United defender Nayef Aguerd
Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

He seriously injured his ankle during a pre-season friendly with Rangers and subsequently underwent surgery.

After three months on the sidelines, Aguerd recently returned to first-team training.

And speaking to the media ahead of the Hammers’ Thursday night clash, Moyes said he was hoping to have the Moroccan in the matchday squad.

“I see Nayef hopefully giving us something we’ve not had,” BBC Sport quotes Moyes as saying ahead of the London Stadium clash.

“He’s not in contention for Sunday [against Manchester United] but we’re hoping to have him in the squad tomorrow, one way or another,” he added.

“I want to give him time. He’s a good reader of the game, he’s quick and he’s good in the air. But because he’s not played any Premier League games it’s difficult for us to give an overall judgement.”

Meanwhile, quote Moyes as saying: “We are really looking forward to having him back.

“He’s a really enthusiastic guy, top enthusiasm with what he is doing, really good in the dressing room as well.

“My worry is getting him used to the standards and physicality of the Premier League, that would be my thing.

“It is not really anything as a player I am overly worried about.”

A point for West Ham against Silkeborg will secure that they win Group B with a game to spare and book their place in the Round of 16.

West Ham United - Premier League
Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

Patience is key

Aguerd arrived at West Ham to much fanfare and it’s a shame he’s yet to feature for the Hammers due to this injury.

Total Football Analysis described him last year as a ‘potential star’ with the profile of ‘the perfect modern centre-back’.

As one of Ligue 1’s best defenders over the past few seasons, it’ll be great to see how he fares in claret and blue.

At the same time, Moyes is right not to rush him into action, particularly in the Premier League.

Aguerd needs to get up to speed with the intensity of the English top flight, so it makes sense not to risk him just yet.

However, there’s a decent chance he could get some minutes off the bench in the ECL on Thursday night.

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