Why David Moyes keeps walking away from his £35m deal with West Ham

West Ham United manager David Moyes has challenged Gianluca Schamacca to improve his form after he was an unused substitute in the Premier League. 1-1 draw with Aston Villa at the London Stadium.

The Italian was watching as Said Benrahma’s penalty awarded the Hammers a vital point in their attempt to fend off relegation, after Danny Ings saw him as a substitute choice for the injured Michail Antonio from the start.

Skamka, who signed for West Ham in a deal potentially worth £35m, showed promise in the early months of the season – mostly in the European Conference League – but has been on the sidelines since the turn of the year.

Moyes switched to Maxwell Cornet for Scamaka as he took Ings looking for a goal, leaving many fans to wonder why the 24-year-old continues to be ignored.

Asked what Skamaka needed to do to regain his place in the team, the Scotsman said in his post-match press conference: “His connection to play is very good, he enjoys playing.

“We know his physicals should be a lot better than they are, but even today, Maxi Cornet, he thought he could stand behind them and to be fair, we probably did and we would have done it three or four more times.

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“Even Maxi had two chances, offside or offside. We’ve seen Maxi do that more than Gianluca.

“Gianluca has to redeem himself, as a manager, no manager wants to sack a bad team, you want to get players out who you think are going to win for you, so you’re always looking to put your best team out.”

When pressed to clarify what he meant, Moyes added of Skamaca’s work ethic: “No, I think his demand is there, I think we just want the output to be bigger and more, and that’s one of the things we look for more.

“The general part of his play, his nonstop play, we like him because he’s really good, and we haven’t seen him very often in the work we’ve been doing.”

West Ham They now sit 17th in the table and are bettered only by Bournemouth, who beat Liverpool 1-0 on Saturday, on goal difference.


West Ham performance vs Aston Villa It was relatively bright and symptoms generally improved at home.

Said Benrahma and Jarrod Bowen provided the main attacking threat for the Hammers, playing both sides of Danny Ings, and it was they who looked capable of earning the much-needed three points. But the failure to take chances, which summed up West Ham’s season, saw Villa return a point to the Midlands. They could have robbed all three of late.

There is no denying that Ings was somewhat ineffective against his former club. He’s a prolific player, goal-giver, and good at keeping the team’s form out of possession, but is that enough? Goals will ultimately keep West Ham in the Premier League, but contributions in the build-up are also essential – there has to be more than one way to sabotage a cat. The same can be said of Moyes’ tactics.

Skamaka is a powerful striker who has massive shots against him while also being strong in the air. West Ham’s problem is that, in Moyes’ current opinion anyway, they don’t offer enough in terms of movement – both on and off the ball. There are also question marks over his general intensity and how he adapts to the pace of the Premier League.

What is clear is that West Ham and Moyes cannot afford to make the same mistake with Skamaka as they did with Sebastien Haller. He has gone on to achieve great things at Ajax and finally Borussia Dortmund and there is a sense that Skamaka has all the tools to deliver as Haller if he plays in the right environment.

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