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Martin Keown delivers verdict on West Ham star Nayef Aguerd

Giuseppe Labellarte

West Ham United defender Nayef Aguerd has been praised by Martin Keown ahead of their early Premier League kickoff on Saturday.

The Premier League legend wrote in the Daily Mail that the Hammers ace had been a “revelation” for David Moyes’ side.

Aguerd joined West Ham last summer for a reported £30million from French outfit Rennes.

West Ham United Nayef Aguerd
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

However, Moyes was unable to play the 26-year-old until October due to an ankle injury which required surgery.

Now, Aguerd is fully fit and has been crucial for West Ham of late, the Hammers enjoying an upturn in form.

West Ham are unbeaten in their last three in all competitions, and have lost just one of their last six.

Aguerd was particularly impressive against Newcastle United last time out, helping the Hammers to a 1-1 draw.

One highlight was his outstanding second-half recovery tackle against Callum Wilson, who was clean through on goal.

Aguerd had ground to make up but successfully did so. Then, in the box, he cleanly took the ball away from the Newcastle man.

‘Quick, mobile and comfortable in possession’

Keown wrote about West Ham’s change in formation and how that has been reaping dividends.

“West Ham are the only team in the Premier League’s bottom six that haven’t sacked their manager this season,” he wrote in the Daily Mail.

“That shows the desperation to survive inside boardrooms up and down the country.

“Manager David Moyes is trying to find stability and his recent run of results – a 2-0 win over Everton, 2-0 cup win over Derby and 1-1 draw at Newcastle – have stemmed from a change of system.

“He’s decided that a 3-4-2-1 set-up is the best way to give West Ham balance.

“This includes a completely new-look left-hand side to the defence with Nayef Aguerd starting on the left of a back three and Emerson Palmieri at left wing-back.

“Aguerd has been a revelation — he’s quick, mobile and comfortable in possession.

“He and Emerson have started the last three games together. And this system is helping restore confidence to the team and ease some of the pressure on the manager.

“Victory against Chelsea on Saturday would help rekindle the fans’ faith in Moyes’ team.

“And West Ham would love nothing more than to show they can outplay January’s big-spenders at the London Stadium.”

West Ham United ace Nayef Aguerd praised by Martin Keown
Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

Worth the wait

West Ham faced a long wait while Aguerd recovered from his surgery.

It hasn’t been a good season for the Hammers, who went from competing for Europe to battling relegation.

However, Moyes’ tactical changes are working so far, with West Ham picking up four points from their last two games.

Obviously the Hammers are still in trouble. However, with a ‘mini-league’ having formed in the bottom half of the table, they’ll fancy their chances of pulling away.

Crystal Palace are 12th in the table and they’re only six points clear of the bottom three. That’s how tight the survival race is at present.

Chelsea will be a tough opponent. But as we saw with Everton and Arsenal last week, any team can win against anyone else on their day.

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